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The Qur'an 

With Surah Introductions and Appendices 



Saheeh International Translation 



The Qur'an 

With Surah Introductions and Appendices 



Saheeh International Translation 



Edited by 
A.B. al-Mehri 



The Qur'an Project 

www.quranproject.org 



Published by 

Maktabah Booksellers and Publishers 

PO BOX 13976 

Birmingham 

Bll 9DQ 

United Kingdom 

www.maktabah.net 
www.quranproject.org 

Cover Design: H. Jundi 

No rights reserved. Any part of this publication may be reproduced in any language, stored in a retrieval 
system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electrical, mechanical, photocopying, recording or 
otherwise without the express permission of the Publisher, as long as no changes are made to the materi- 
al and notification is sent to the Publisher for their records. Offers are welcomed to assist publishing this 
book in other languages. 

British Ubrary Cataloguing-in-Publication Data 

A Catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library 

2010 Maktabah Booksellers and Publishers 

Saheeh International Translation 

ISBN 978-0-9548665-4-9 



CONTENTS PAGE 



Introduction ..... 
Editor's Preface .... 

Short Biography of Prophet Muhammad 
The Qur'an: 



5 

7 
11 



Surah 1 : al-Fatihah (The Opening) . 








28 


Surah 2: al-Baqarah (The Cow) 








30 


Surah 3: Ale-'Imran (Family of Imran) 








59 


Surah 4: an-Nisa' (The Women) 








77 


Surah 5: al-Ma'idah (The Table) 








96 


Surah 6: al-An'am (The Gra2ing Livesotck) 








110 


Surah 7: al-A'raf (The Elevations) 








126 


Surah 8: al-Anfal (The Spoils of War) 








143 


Surah 9: at-Tawbah (Repentance) 








154 


Surah 10: Yunus (Jonah) 








170 


Smah 11: Had (Hud) . 








180 


Sarah 12: Yasuf (Joseph) 








190 


Sarah 13: ar-Ra'd (Thunder) . 








200 


Sarah 14: Ibraheem (Abraham) 








205 


Sarah 15: al-Hijr (The Valley of Stone) 








210 


Sarah 16: an-Nahl (The Bee) . 








216 


Sarah 17: al-Isra' (The Night Journey) 








226 


Surah 18: al-Kahf (The Cave) . 








235 


Sarah 19: Maryam (Maty) 








244 


Sarah 20: Ta Ha (Ta Ha) 








252 


Sarah 21: al-Anbiya' (The Prophets) . 








262 


Sarah 22: al-Hajj (The Pilgrimage) 








270 


Sarah 23: al-Mu'minan (The Believers) 








278 


Sarah 24: an-Nar (Light) 








285 


Sarah 25: al-Furqan (The Criterion) . 








297 


Sarah 26: ash-Shu'ara' (The Poets) . 








303 


Sarah 27: an-Naml (The Ants) 








314 


Sarah 28: al-Qasas (The Story) 








321 


Sarah 29: al-'Ankabut (The Spider) . 








330 


Sarah 30: ar-Ram (The Romans) 








336 


Sarah 31: Luqman (Luqman) . 








343 


Sarah 32: as-Sajdah (Prostration) 








347 


Sarah 33: al-Ahzab (The Confederates) 








350 


Sarah 34: Saba' (The People of) Saba) 








364 


Sarah 35: Fatir (The Creator) . 








370 


Sarah 36: Ya Seen (Ya Seen) . 








375 



Surah 37: as-Saffit (Those Lined Up). 


381 


Surah 38: Sad (Sad) ...... 


389 


Surah 39: a2-Zumar (The Groups) .... 


396 


Surah 40: Ghafir (The Forgiver) .... 


403 


Surah 41: Fussilat (Presented In Detail) 


410 


Surah 42: ash-Shura (Consultation) .... 


417 


Surah 43: a2-Zukhruf (Ornaments) .... 


425 


Surah 44: ad-Dukhan (Smoke). .... 


432 


Surah 45: al-Jathiyah (Kneeling) .... 


437 


Surah 46: al-Ahqaf (The Sand Dunes) 


442 


Surah 47: Muhammad (Muhammad) .... 


447 


Surah 48: al-Fath (The Conquest) .... 


452 


Surah 49: al-Hujurat (The Chambers) 


460 


Stirah 50: Qaf (Qaf) 


463 


Surah 51: adh-Dhariyat (The Scattering Winds) 


467 


Surah 52: at-Tur (The Mount). .... 


471 


Surah 53: an-Najm (The Star) ..... 


475 


Surah 54: al-Qamar (The Moon) .... 


481 


Surah 55: ar-Rahman (The Most Merciful) . 


485 


Surah 56: al-Wiqi'ah (The Occurrence) 


489 


Surah 57: al-Hadeed (Iron) ..... 


495 


Surah 58: al-Mujadilah (The Contention) 


500 


Surah 59: al-Hashr (The Gathering) .... 


505 


Surah 60: al-Mumtahinah (The Woman Examined) 


514 


Surah 61: as-Saff (Batde Formation) .... 


517 


Surah 62: al-Jumu'ah (Friday) ..... 


519 


Surah 63: al-Munafiqun (The Hypocrites) . 


522 


Surah 64: at-Taghabun (Deprivation) 


527 


Surah 65: at-Talaq (Divorce) ..... 


531 


Surah 66: at-Tahreem (Prohibition) .... 


535 


Surah 67: al-Mulk (Dominion). .... 


539 


Surah 68: al-Qalam (The Pen). .... 


543 


Surah 69: al-Haqqah (The Manifest Reality). 


547 


Surah 70: al-Ma'arij (The Ways of Ascent) . 


550 


Surah 71: Nuh (Noah) 


553 


Surah 72: al-Jinn (The Jinn) ..... 


556 


Surah 73: al-Mu22ammil (The Enwrapped One) . 


561 


Surah 74: al-Muddathir (The Cloaked One) . 


565 


Surah 75: al-Qiyamah (The Resurrection) . 


570 


Surah 76: al-Insan (Man) ..... 


573 


Surah 77: al-Mursalat (Those Sent Forth) . 


577 


Surah 78: an-Naba' (The News) .... 


581 


Surah 79: an-Na2i'at (The Extractors) 


585 


Surah 80: 'Abasa (He Frowned) .... 


589 



Surah 81: at-Takweer (The Wrapping) 

Surah 82: al-Infitar (The Breaking Apart) 

Surah 83: al-Mutaffifeen (Those Who Give Less) 

Surah 84: al-Inshiqaq (The Splitting) . 

Surah 85: al-Buruj (The Great Stars) . 

Surah 86: at-Tariq (That Which Comes At Night) 

Sarah 87: al-A'la (The Most High) . 

Surah 88: al-Ghashiyah (The Overwhelming) 

Surah 89: al-Fajr (The Dawn) . 

Surah 90: al-Balad (The City) . 

Surah 91: ash-Shams (The Sun) 

Surah 92: al-Layl (The Night) . 

Surah 93: adh-Dhuha (The Morning Brightness) 

Surah 94: ash-Sharh (Expansion) 

Surah 95: at-Teen (The Fig) . 

Surah 96: al-'Alaq (The Clinging Substance) 

Surah 97: al-Qadr (The Decree) 

Surah 98: al-Bayyinah (Clear Evidence) 

Surah 99: a2-Zalzalah (The Earthquake) 

Surah 100: al-Aadiyat (The Racers) . 

Surah 101: al-Qari'ah (The Calamity) 

Surah 102: at-Takathur (Competition in Increase) 

Surah 103: al-Asr (Time) 

Surah 104: al-Humazah (The Scorner) 

Surah 105: al-Fil (The Elephant) 

Surah 106: al-Quraysh ((the tribe of) Quraysh) 

Surah 107: al-Ma'un (Assistance) 

Surah 108: al-Kawthar (Abundance) . 

Surah 109: al-Kafirun (The Disbelievers) 

Surah 110: an-Nasr (Victory) . 

Surah 111: al-Masad (Fiber) . 

Surah 112: al-Ikhlas (Purification) 

Surah 113: al-Falaq (Daybreak) 

Surah 114: an-Nas (Mankind) . 



593 
596 
598 
601 
603 
605 
607 
610 
612 
615 
617 
619 
621 
623 
625 
627 
630 
632 
634 
636 
638 
640 
642 
644 
646 
651 
654 
656 
659 
662 
665 
669 
672 
672 



Appendices: 



Introduction to the Study of the Qur'an. 

The Unique Qur'anic Generation .... 

Preservation and Literary Challenge of the Qur'an . 

Scientific Miracles of the Qur'an; ..... 

The Qur'an on the Origin of the Universe .... 

The Qur'an on the 'Big Bang Theory' .... 

The Qur'an on the Expanding Universe .... 

The Qur'an on the Orbital Movement of the Sun and the Moon 
The Qur'an on Duality in Creation ..... 

The Qur'an on the Origin of Life in Water .... 

The Qur'an on Seas and Rivers ..... 

Mracle of Iron ........ 

The Qur'an on Mountains ...... 

The Qur'an on Human Embryonic Development. 
Scientists Acceptance of the Miracles of the Qur'an 



Miracles Performed ...... 

Old and New Testament Prophecies of Muhammad. 
Women in Islam .... 

How do I become a Muslim? 
Short Guide to Ablution and Prayer 
Frequently Asked Questions about Islam 
Brief Index of the Qur'an 



679 

690 

695 

706 
706 

707 
708 
709 
709 

712 
712 
715 
717 
719 
726 

729 



. 733 

. 742 

. 749 

. 752 

. 756 

. 766 



Introduction 



The Qur'an is the word of the Ever-living God; it has been sent down to guide humanity for 
all times to come. No book can be like it. As you come to the Qur'an, God speaks to you. 
To read the Qur'an is to hear Him, converse with Him and to walk in His ways. It is the en- 
counter of life with the Life -giver. 'God - there is no diety except Him, the Ever-living, 
the Sustainer of existence. He has sent down upon you the Book with in Truth ... as a 
guidance for the people ...' (Qur'an 3: 2-3). 

For those who heard it for the first time from the lips of the Prophet, the Qur'an was a liv- 
ing reality. They had absolutely no doubt that, through him, God was speaking to them. 
Their hearts and minds were therefore seized by it. Their eyes overflowed with tears and 
their bodies shivered. They found each word of it deeply relevant to their concerns and ex- 
periences, and integrated it fully into their lives. They were completely transformed by it 
both as individuals and as a nation - into a totally new, alive and life-giving entity. Those who 
grazed sheep, herded camels and traded petty merchandise became the leaders of mankind. 

New World 

As we come to the Qur'an, we come to a new world. Each Ayat [verse] is a sign of God - 
informing us of His infinite mercy, power and knowledge. No other venture in our lives can 
be so momentous and crucial, so blissful and rewarding, as our journey to and through the 
Qur'an. It is a journey that will take us through the endless joys and riches of the words that 
our Creator and Lord has sent to us and all mankind. Here we will find a world of untold 
treasures of knowledge and wisdom to guide us on the pathways of life, to mould our 
thoughts and actions. In it we will find deep insights to enrich us and steer us along the right 
course. From it you will receive a radiant light to illumine the deeper reaches of our soul. 
Here we will encounter profound emotions, a warmth to melt our hearts and bring tears 
running down our cheeks. 

It is beyond man's power to comprehend, or to describe, the greatness and importance of 
what the Qur'an holds for him. It is God's greatest blessing for him. It is the fulfillment of 
His promise to Adam and his descendants: "when guidance comes to you from Me, 
whoever follows My guidance - there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they 
grieve...' (2: 38). It is the only weapon to help our frail existence as we struggle against the 
forces of evil and temptation in this world. It is the only means to overpower our fears and 
anxieties. It is the only 'light' {nut), as we grope in the darkness, with which to find our way 
to success and salvation. It is the only healing (shifa) for our inner sicknesses, as well as the 
social ills that may surround us. Its the constant reminder (dhikr) of our true nature and des- 
tiny, of our station, our duties, our rewards and our perils. 

God - the Greatest 

The Qur'an was brought down by the one who is powerful and trustworthy in the heavens — 
the angel Gabriel. Its first abode was the pure and sublime heart, the like of which no man 
has never had - the heart of the Prophet Muhammad, blessings and peace be on him. More 



than anything, it is the only way to come nearer and closer to our Creator. It tells us of Him, 
of His attributes, of how He rules over the cosmos and history, of how He relates Himself 
to us, and how we should relate to Him and to ourselves. 

Most important is to remember is that what we read in the Qur'an is the word of God which 
He has conveyed to us in a human language, only because of His mercy and care and provi- 
dence for us. 'The Most-merciful, He has taught the Qur'an' (55: 1-2). 'A mercy from 
your Lord' (44: 6). The majesty of the Qur'an, too, is so overpowering that no human being 
can truly comprehend it. So much so as God says, 'If We had sent down this Qur'an 
upon a mountain, you would have seen it humbled and coming apart from fear of 
God.' (59: 21). This act of Divine mercy and majesty is enough to awe and overwhelm us, to 
inspire us to ever-greater heights of gratitude, yearning and endeavour to enter the world of 
the Qur'an. Indeed, no treasure is more valuable and precious for us than the Qur'an, as 
God says of His generosity, 'O mankind, there has to come to you instruction from 
your Lord and healing for what is in the breasts and guidance and mercy for the be- 
lievers.' (10:57). 

The outcome of our entire life depends on how we heed the call given by God. The journey 
is therefore decisive for our existence, for mankind, for the future of human civilization. A 
hundred new worlds lie in its verses. Whole centuries are involved in its moments. Know, in 
that case that it is the Qur'an, and only the Qur'an, which can lead us towards success and 
glory in this-world and in the world-to-come. 

We finish by citing a poem; 

'My mind ponders and contemplates, 

Dwelling on the reality of life, 

Yet nothing is as scary as the Realness of the Ever-Living. 

His closeness, 

His knowledge of my inner self, 

The insides tremble and frighten at this reality, 

I awake, 

Sometimes, 

I hear nothing except my heart beating, 

Beat after beat it beats, 

One thought is flowing in my mind, 

All that my mind and body desire at this moment, 

Is to stand, 

To stand before Him. 

This feeling I wouldn't exchange for the world, 

To fall prostrate and praise Him, tell Him I love Him and am longing to meet Him. 

Life is a journey with many intended ambitions - 

Yet mine is simple to meet my Lord when I am closest to Him.' 



Editor's Preface 

In early 2007, a friend visited me at my home in Birmingham, UK. He was visually emotional 
and asked if I could give him a translation of the Qur'an in English. He explained that he had a 
non-Muslim work colleague who had been enthralled by the Qur'an and that he, as a Muslim, 
felt ashamed he had not read it. So I gave him a spare translation I had and began to tell him 
some basic facts he should know as a seeker of truth — 

The Qur'an is a unique book for a multitude of reasons. To name a few: 

• It does not read in chronological order of revelation — 

- i.e. the first verse you read from Surah 1 is not that first verse revealed 

- nor the last verse from Surah 114 the very last verse of the Qur'an. 

• The Qur'an was revealed over 23 years to the Prophet Muhammad — 

Sometimes a few Ayats at a time — (the first revelation began with five 

ay at, then seven, etc) 

and at other times, Surahs (chapters) were revealed as a whole. 

(An Ayat is normally translated as 'a verse' - a more accurate linguistic 
translation would be 'Sign' [of God]) 

• The Archangel Gabriel, under instruction from God, informed the Prophet to ar- 
range the various Ayats into Surahs. 

• These Surah's (chapters) can be divided into two types - 

those revealed before the migration of the Muslim community — The 
Makkan Period 

and those revealed after the migration — The Madinan period. 
These Surahs would often include Ayats from both time periods 

• The significance of the two periods — 

in Makkah the call to one God was new. The Believers were opposed, 
beaten and oppressed by the Makkans who were the main proponents of 
idol-worship in Arabia. The revelations in Makkah were regarding the 
Oneness of God, Paradise and Hellfire, the Day of Judgment etc. This was 
a period of many trials and tribulations for the Prophet Muhammad and 
the Believers. 

in Madinah the Prophet was the leader of the Islamic state. The revela- 
tions here centered on establishing the religion, engaging the enemies of 
God, social and legal rulings on marriage, divorce, inheritance, punish- 
ment, etc. 

The challenges of both periods were different and the various Ayats reflect 
this. 



After explaining the importance of knowing the biography of the Prophet in order to deepen 
one's understanding of the Qur'an, I began explaining how ama2ingly, the Qur'an has been pre- 
served word for word in written and oral form for over fourteen hundred years — a feat un- 
matched by any other book, including the Old and New Testament. I then went on to mention 
the many scientific miracles contained in the Qur'an and also the prophecies in the Bible about 
the Prophet Muhammad. All this information I was relaying to my friend was scattered over 
many books and not contained in a single publication that I could give him. It was at this stage 
it became evident to me that there was a need to publish a translation of the Qur'an which 
would give its reader a complete and informed introduction to the miraculous book. And so, 
The Qur'an Project was born. 

Work then began by first selecting the Saheeh International translation of the Qur'an as the 
translation we would use in our print - it is in simple English and corresponds well to the sen- 
tence structure of the Arabic. There were two changes that were made to this translation — the 
word 'Allah' was replaced with 'God' and 'Bismillah ir Rahman nir Raheem' (at the beginning 
of the Surahs) was replaced by 'In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Mer- 
ciful.' 

It was then decided to use M. Mawdudi's Surah introductions from his commentary of the 
Qur'an, 'Towards Understanding the Qur'an' (available online — www.quranproject.org). These 
have been edited and abridged to include the most relevant information for a beginner. The 
following chapters were then selected to also be included: 

Short Biography of the Prophet Muhammad 
Introduction to the Study of the Qur'an 
The Unique Qur'anic Generation 
Preservation and Literary Challenge of the Qur'an 
Scientific Miracles of the Qur'an; 

The Qur'an on the Origin of the Universe 

The Qur'an on the 'Big Bang Theory' 

The Qur'an on the Expanding Universe 

The Qur'an on the Orbital Movement of the Sun and the Moon 

The Qur'an on Duality in Creation 

The Qur'an on the Origin of Life in Water 

The Qur'an on Seas and Rivers 

Mracle of Iron 

The Qur'an on Mountains 

The Qur'an on Human Embryonic Development 

Scientists Acceptance of the Miracles of the Qur'an 

Mracles Performed 

Old and New Testament Prophecy of Muhammad 

Women in Islam 

How do I become a Muslim? 

Quick Guide to Ablution and Prayer 

Frequently Asked Questions about Islam - Short Answers - 

8 



www. quranpro j ect . org 

The website www.quranproject.org was setup to accompany the publication. Here readers 
would be able to read it all online, download it, order their free copy, and go through the many 
additional sections including free online library, audio and video etc. 

Final Note 

Many of those involved have been completely humbled by the opportunity given to them by 
God to partake in this project. All praise and thanks are for Him and Him alone, the Lord of 
the Worlds. Often God uses diverse and numerous people for His work and this endeavor has 
been no different. So many people have offered their time, help and services to this project and 
are too many to mention here. God knows every single one of them and we ask Him to accept 
this deed from us and make it as a means of achieving His love, mercy and ultimately Paradise - 
(ameen) . 

All that is good and correct in this publication, and anyone who is subsequendy guided, this is 
from God and a mercy from Him. Any mistakes and errors are from ourselves and we ask the 
forgiveness of God for them. 

'O God, Creator of the heavens and the earth — Accept this deed from us and forgive for us for 
any shortcomings. Enter us and our families into the highest levels of Paradise and protect us 
from being touched by the Fire even for a moment. Our prayers, sacrifices, lives and death are 
all for You. Bless us with Your Love, the love of whom You Love and the love of deeds which 
bring us closer to Your Love. O God, have mercy on us through the Qur'an and make it for us 
a Light, Mercy and Guidance - Make the last part of our lives its best, the last deed the best 
one, and the best day of our lives the Day we meet You.' [ameen] 

A.B. al-Mehri 

Rabi' al-Awwal, 1431 AH 

February, 2010 

Birmingham, United Kingdom. 



10 



Short Biography of Prophet Muhammad 
The Prophet's Birth 

Muhammad, son of Abdullah, son of Abdul Muttalib, of the tribe of Quraysh, was born 
in Makkah in the year 571 A.D. His father died before he was born, and he was protected 
first by his grandfather, Abdul Muttalib, and after his grandfather's death, by his uncle 
Abu Talib. 

As a young boy he traveled with his uncle in the merchants' caravan to Syria, and some 
years later made the same journey in the service of a wealthy widow named Khadijah. So 
faithfully he conducted her business, and so excellent was the report of his behaviour, 
which she received from her old servant who had accompanied him, that she soon after- 
wards married her young agent; and the marriage proved a very happy one, though she 
was fifteen years older than he was. Throughout the twenty-six years of their life together 
he remained devoted to her; and after her death, when he took other wives he always 
mentioned her with the greatest love and reverence. This marriage gave him rank among 
the notables of Makkah, while his conduct earned for him the title al-Amin, the "trust- 
worthy." 

Physical Description 

One of the most comprehensive and detailed descriptions we have of the Prophet Mu- 
hammad came from a Bedouin woman who would take care of travelers who passed by 
her tent. The Prophet once stopped by her with his companions for food and rest. The 
Prophet asked her if they could buy some meat or dates from her but she could not find 
anything. The Prophet looked towards a sheep next to the tent. He asked her, "What is 
wrong with this sheep?" She replied, "The sheep is fatigued and is weaker than the other 
sheep." The Prophet asked, "Does it milk?" She replied, "I swear by your mother and fa- 
ther, if I saw milk from it then I would milk it." He then called the sheep and moved his 
hand over its udder; he pronounced the name of God and praised Him. Then he called 
the woman when the sheep steadied its feet and its udder filled. He asked for a large con- 
tainer and milked it until it was filled. The woman drank until full as did his companions. 
Then it was milked for a second time until the container was full and they left her and 
continued on their journey. After a short while, the husband of the Bedouin woman re- 
turned from herding goats. He saw the milk and said to his wife, "Where did you get this 
milk from?" She replied, "I swear by God, a blessed man came to us today" He said, 
"Describe him to me." 

She began; "I saw him to be a man of evident splendor. Fine in figure. His face hand- 
some. Slim in form. His head not too small, elegant and good looking. His eyes large and 
black [and] his eye lids long. His voice deep. Very intelligent. His brows high and arched 
[and] his hair in plaits. His neck long and his beard thick. He gave an impression of digni- 
ty when silent and of high intelligence when he talked. His words were impressive and his 
speech decisive, not trivial nor trite. His ideas like pearls moving on their string. He 
seemed the most splendid and fine looking man from a distance and the very best of all 
from close by. Medium in height, the eye not finding him too tall nor too short. A tree 
branch as it were between two others but he was the finest looking of the three. The best 

11 



proportioned. His companions would surround him, when he spoke they would listen at- 
tentively to his speech. 

The First Revelation 

The Makkans claimed descent from Abraham through Ishmail and tradition stated that 
their temple, the Ka'bah, had been built by Abraham for the worship of the One God. It 
was still called the House of God, but the chief objects of worship here were a number of 
idols, which were called "daughters" of God and intercessors. 

It was the practice of the Prophet to retire often to a cave in the desert for meditation. 
His place of retreat was Hira, a cave in a mountain called the Mountain of Light not far 
from Makkah, and his chosen month was Ramadan, the month of heat. It was there one 
night towards the end of this quiet month that the first revelation came to him when he 
was forty years old. 

He heard a voice say: "Read!" He said: "I cannot read." The voice again said: "Read!" He 
said: "I cannot read." A third time the voice, more terrible, commanded: "Read!" He said: 
"What can I read?" The voice said: 

"Recite in the name of your Lord who created 

Created man from a clinging substance. 

Recite, and your Lord is the most Generous — 

Who taught by the pen — 

Taught man that which he knew not." 

The Vision of Cave Hira 

He went out of the cave on to the hillside and heard the same awe-inspiring voice say: "O 
Muhammad! Thou art God's messenger, and I am Gabriel." Then he raised his eyes and 
saw the angel standing in the sky above the horizon. And again the voice said: "O Mu- 
hammad! Thou art God's messenger, and I am Gabriel." Muhammad stood quite still, 
turning away his face from the brightness of the vision, but wherever he turned his face, 
there stood the angel confronting him. He remained thus a long while till at length the 
angel vanished, when he returned in great distress of mind to his wife Khadijah. She did 
her best to reassure him, saying that his conduct had been such that God would not let a 
harmful spirit come to him and that it was her hope that he was to become the Prophet 
of his people. On his return to Makkah she took him to her cousin Waraqa ibn Nawfal, a 
very old man, "who knew the Scriptures of the Jews and Christians," who declared his 
belief that the heavenly messenger who came to Moses of old had come to Muhammad, 
and that he was chosen as the Prophet of his people. 



12 



Message of Islam 

Most of the people of Makkah who had acclaimed him as the trustworthy (al-Amin) and 
the trustful (as-Sadiq) could not bring themselves to believe in him. Nor could most of 
the Jews and Christians who had for so long been living in expectation of his arrival. Not 
that they doubted his truthfulness or integrity but they were not prepared to turn their 
whole established way of living upside down by submitting to his simple but radical mes- 
sage. He would tell them; 

When I recite the Qur'an, I find the following clear instruction: God is He who 
has created you, and the heavens and the earth, He is your only Lord and Master. 
He is your only Lord and Master. Surrender your being and your lives totally to 
Him Alone, and worship and serve no one but Him. Let God be the Only God. 

The words I speak, He places in my mouth, and I speak on His authority, Obey 
me and forsake all false claimants to human obedience. Everything in the heavens 
and on earth belongs to God; no person has a right to be master of another per- 
son, to spread oppression and corruption on earth. An eternal life beyond awaits 
you; where you will meet God face to face, and your life will be judged; for that 
you must prepare. 

This simple message shook the very foundations of Makkan society as well as the se- 
venth-century world. That world, as today, lived under the yoke of many false gods, kings 
and emperors, priests and monks, feudal lords and rich businessmen, soothsayers and 
spell-binders who claimed to know what others knew not, and who all lorded over hu- 
man being. 

The Prophet's message challenged them all, exposed them all and threatened them all. 
His immediate opponents in Makkah could do no better than brand him unconvincingly 
as a liar, a poet, soothsayer and a man possessed. But how could he who was illiterate, he 
who had never composed a single verse, who has shown no inclination to lead people, 
suddenly have words flowing from his lips so full of wisdom and light, morally so uplift- 
ing, specifically so enlivening, so beautiful and powerful, that they began to change the 
hearts and minds and lives of the hearer? His detractors and opponents had no answer. 
When challenged to produce anything even remotely similar to the words Muhammad 
claimed he was receiving from God, they could not match God's words. 

Stages of The Call 

First privately, then publicly, the Prophet continued to proclaim his message. He himself 
had an intense, living relationship with God, totally committed to the message and mis- 
sion entrusted to him. Slowly and gradually, people came forward and embraced Islam. 
They came from all walks of life - chiefs and slaves, businessmen and artisans, men and 
women — most of them young. Some simply heard the Qur'an, and that was enough to 
transform them. Some saw the Prophet, and were immediately captivated by the light of 
mercy, generosity and humanity that was visible in his manner and morals, in his words 
and works and also in his face. 

13 



The opposition continued to harden and sharpen. It grew furious and ferocious. Those 
who joined the Prophet were tortured in innumerable ways; they were mocked, abused, 
beaten flogged, imprisoned and boycotted. Some were subjected to severe inhuman tor- 
tures; made to lie on burning coal fires until the melting body fat extinguished them, or 
were dragged over burning sand and rocks. Yet such was the strength of their faith that 
none of them gave it up in the face of such trials and tribulation. 

The Flight to Abyssinia 

However, as the persecutions became unbearable, the Prophet advised those who could, 
to migrate to Abyssinia. It turned out that there, the Christian king gave the Muslims full 
protection despite the pleading of the emissaries sent by the Quraysh chiefs. This was the 
first emigration of Islam. 

In the meantime, the Prophet and his Companions continued to nourish their souls and 
intellect and strengthen their character and resolve for the great task that lay ahead. They 
met regularly, especially at a house near the Ka'bah called Dar al-Arqam, to read and 
study the Qur'an, to worship and pray and to forge the tied of brotherhood. 

In Makkah 

Years passed and the people of Makkah would not give their allegiance to the Prophet's 
message nor showed any sign of any easing in their persecution. At the same time, the 
Prophet lost his closest companion, his wife Khadljah, as well as his uncle Abu Talib, his 
chief protector in the tribal world of Makkah. The Prophet now decided to carry his 
message to the people of the nearby town of Ta'if known for its wealth. In Ta'if, too, the 
tribal leaders mocked and ridiculed him and rejected his message. They also stirred up 
their slaves and youth to insult him, mock him and pelt stones at him. Thus he was 
stoned until he bled and was driven out of Ta'if, and when God placed at his command 
the Angel of Mountains to crush the Valley of Ta'if if he so wished, he only prayed for 
them to be guided. Such was the mercy and compassion of the one who is the 'mercy for 
all the worlds.' 

This year is known by historians as the Y^ear of Sorrow' due to the grief which the 
Prophet suffered as a result of all these worldy setbacks. However, as the Qur'an states 
that after hardship there is ease, the Prophet was to be blessed with an ama2ing journey 
culminating with a meeting with Almighty God himself. 

One night the Prophet was awaken and taken, in the company of the Angel Gabriel, first 
to Jerusalem. There he was met by all the Prophets, who gathered together behind him as 
he prayed on the Rock at the centre of the site of Masjid Aqsa, the spot where the Dome 
of the Rock stands today. From the Rock, led by the Archangel, he ascended through the 
seven heavens and beyond. Thus he saw whatever God made him see, the heavenly 
worlds which no human eye can see, and which were the focus of this message and mis- 
sion. It was also during this journey God ordained on the believers the five daily prayers. 



14 



Joy After Sorrow 

In quick succession, the Prophet had suffered the terrible loss of Khadljah, his intimate 
and beloved companion for 25 years, and of Abu Talib, his guardian and protector 
against the bloodthirsty Makkan foes, and encountered the worst ever rejection, humilia- 
tion and persecution at nearby Ta'if. As the Prophet reached the lowest point in his voca- 
tion, God bought him comfort and solace. On the one hand, spiritually, He took him 
during the Night of Ascension to the Highest of Highs, realities and Divinities, face to 
face with the Unseen. And on the other, materially, he opened the hearts of the people of 
Yathrib to the message and mission of Prophet Muhammad. 

The message that Makkah and Ta'if rejected, found responsive hearts in Yathrib, a small 
oasis about four hundred kilometres to the north of Makkah. Now known as Madinah 
tunnabi (the city of the Prophet), or Madlnatun Munawwarah (the radiant city), it was 
destined to be the centre of the Divine light that was to spread to all parts of the world 
for all time to come. 

The Men of Yathrib 

Soon after Prophet Muhammad's return from Ta'if and the Night Journey, at the time of 
the pilgrimage, six men from Yathrib embraced Islam. They delivered the message of 
Islam to as many as they could, and at the time of the next pilgrimage in the year 621 CE, 
12 people came. They pledged themselves to the Prophet, that they would make no god 
besides God, that they would neither steal nor commit fornication, nor slay their infants, 
nor utter slanders, nor disobey him in that which is right. The Prophet said; 'If you fulfil 
this pledge, then Paradise is yours.' This time the Prophet sent Mus'ab ibn 'Umayr with 
them to teach them the Qur'an and Islam and to spread the message of Islam. 

More and more people over the course of a year - tribal leaders, men and women - be- 
came Muslims. At the time of the next pilgrimage, they decided to send a delegation to 
the Prophet, make a pledge to him, and invited him and all Muslims in Makkah to Yathrib 
as a sanctuary and as a base for spearding the Divine message of Islam. In all, 73 men and 
two women came. They met the Prophet at Aqabah. They pledged to protect the Prophet 
as they would protect their own women and children, and to fight against all men, red 
and black, even if their nobles were killed and they suffered the loss of all their posses- 
sions. When asked what would be their return if they fulfilled their pledge, the Prophet 
said; 'Paradise.' Thus the beginning was made, the foundations of the Islamic society, 
state and civilization were set. 

The road was now open for the persecuted and tortured followers of the Prophet to 
come to the Land of Islam, that was to be Madinah. Gradually most of the believers 
found their way to Yathrib. Their Makkan foes could not bear to see the Muslims living 
in peace. They knew the power of the Prophet's message, they knew the strength of those 
dedicated believers who cared about nothing for the age-old Arab customs and ties of 
kinship, and who if they had to, would fight for their faith. The Makkans sensed the dan- 
ger that the Muslims' presence in Madinah posed for their northern trade caravan routes. 
They saw no other way to stop all this but to kill the Prophet. 

15 



Plot to Murder the Prophet 

Hence they hatched a conspiracy; one strong and well-connected young man was to be 
nominated by each clan, and all of them were to pounce upon and kill the Prophet one 
morning as he came out of his house, so that his blood would be on all the clans' hands. 
Thus, the Prophets' clan would have to accept blood money in place of revenge. In- 
formed of the plot by the Angel Gabriel, and instructed to leave Makkah for Madinah, 
the Prophet went to Abu Bakr's house to finalise the travel arrangements. Abu Bakr was 
overjoyed at having been chosen for the honour and blessing of being the Prophet's 
companion on this blessed, momentous, sacred and epoch-making journey. He offered 
his she-camel to the Prophet, but the Prophet insisted on paying its price. 

On the fateful night, as darkness fell, the youths selected by the Quraysh leaders to kill 
the Prophet surrounded his house. They decided to pounce on him when he came out of 
his house for the dawn prayer. Meanwhile, the Prophet handed over all the money left by 
the Makkans with him for safe-keeping to Ali. Ali offered to lie in the Prophet's bed. The 
Prophet slipped out of his house, threw a litde dust in their direction, and walked past his 
enemies, whose eyes were still on the house. He met Abu Bakr at his house, and they 
both travelled to a nearby cave. When the Quraysh realised that the Prophet had evaded 
them, they were furious. They looked for him everywhere to no success and then an- 
nounced a reward of 100 she-camels for anybody who would bring them the Prophet, 
dead or alive. A tribal chief, Suraqah, sighted the Prophet and followed him, hoping to 
earn the reward. The Prophet, with bloodthirsty foes in pursuit and an uncertain future 
ahead of him in Madinah, told Suraqah; A day will soon come when Kisra's golden brace- 
lets will be in Suraqah's hands. Thereafter, Suraqah retreated, and the Prophet proceeded 
towards Madinah. 

Four stages of the Prophets life in Makkah 

The Makkan period can be summarized in four stages: 

1. The first stage began with his appointment as a Messenger and ended with the 
proclamation of Prophethood three years later. During this period the Message 
was given secretly to some selected persons only but the common people of Mak- 
kah were not aware of it. 

2. The second stage lasted for two years after the proclamation of his Prophethood. 
It began with opposition by individuals: then by and by it took the shape of anta- 
gonism, ridicule, derision, accusation, abuse and false propaganda then gangs were 
formed to persecute those Muslims who were comparatively poor, weak and help- 
less. 

3. The third stage lasted for about six years from the beginning of the persecution to 
the death of Abu Talib and Khadijah in the tenth year of Prophethood. During 
this period the persecution of the Muslims became so savage and brutal that many 
of them were forced to migrate to Abyssinia while social and economic boycott 
was applied against the remaining Believers. 

4. The fourth stage lasted for about three years from the tenth to the thirteenth year 
of Prophethood. This was a period of hard trials and grievous sufferings for the 
Prophet and his followers. Life had become unendurable at Makkah and there ap- 

16 



peared to be no place of refuge even outside it. So much so that when the Prophet 
went to Ta'if, it offered no shelter or protection. Besides this, on the occasion of 
Hajj, he would appeal to each and every Arab clan to accept his invitation to Islam 
but was met with blank refusal from every quarter. At the same time, the people 
of Makkah were holding counsels to get rid of him by killing or imprisoning or 
banishing him from their city. It was at that most critical time that God opened 
for Islam the hearts of the People of Yathrib where he migrated at their invitation. 

The Hijrah (622 C.E.) 

This was al-Hijrah, the emigration — a small distance in space, a mighty leap in history, an 
event that was to become a threshold in the shaping of the Islamic Ummah. This is why 
the Muslims date their calendar from Hijrah (emigration) and not from start of revelation 
or from the birth of the Prophet. 

In Qubah, 10 kilometres outside Madinah, the Prophet made his first stopover. Here he 
built the first Masjid. Here he also made his first public address; 'Spread peace among 
yourselves, give away food to the needy, pray while people sleep — and you will enter Pa- 
radise, the house of peace.' 

Three days later, the Prophet entered Madinah. Men, women, children, the entire popu- 
lace came out on the streets and jubilandy welcomed him. Never was there a day of grater 
rejoicing and happiness. 'The Prophet has come! The Prophet has come!' sang the little 
children. 

The first thing the Prophet did after arriving in Madinah was to weld the Muhajirs or 
Emigrants and the hosts, called the Ansar or Helpers into one brotherhood. Still today 
this brotherhood remains the hallmark of the Muslims. One person from the Emigrants 
was made the brother of one from among the Helpers — creating a bond stronger than 
blood. The Helpers offered to share equally all that they possessed with their new broth- 
ers. 

Brotherhood 

So, the Muslims were forged into a close-knit community of faith and brotherhood, and 
the structure of their society was being built. The first structure was also raised. This was 
the Masjid, the building dedicated to the worship of One God - called Masjid al-Nabi, 
the Prophet's Masjid. Since then the Masjid has also remained the hallmark of the Mus- 
lims' collective and social life, the convenient space for the integration of the religious 
and political dimension of Islam, a source of identification, a witness to Muslim existence. 

At the same time, steps were taken and required institutions built to integrate the entire 
social life around the centre and pivot of the worship of One God. For this purpose, five 
daily prayers in congregation were established. Ramadhan, fasting every day from dawn to 
sunset for an entire month, was also prescribed. Similarly, to establish 'giving' as the way 
of life, Zakah, a percentage of one's wealth to be given in the way of God, was made ob- 
ligator)'. 

17 



The Jews and Hypocrites 

In the first year of his reign at Yathrib the Prophet made a solemn treaty with the Jewish 
tribes, which secured to them rights of citi2enship and full religious liberty in return for 
their support of the new state. But their idea of a Prophet was one who would give them 
dominion, not one who made the Jews who followed him, brothers of every Arab who 
might happen to believe as they did. When they realised that they could not use the 
Prophet for their own ends, they tried to shake his faith and his Mission and to seduce his 
followers, behaviour in which they were encouraged secredy by some professing Muslims 
who considered they had reason to resent the Prophet's coming, since it robbed them of 
their local influence. In the Madinan Surahs there is frequent mention of these Jews and 
Hypocrites. 

The First Expeditions 

The Prophet's first concern as ruler was to establish public worship and lay down the 
constitution of the State: but he did not forget that Quraysh had sworn to make an end to 
his religion, nor that he had received command to fight against them till they ceased from 
persecution. After twelve months in Yathrib several small expeditions went out, led either 
by the Prophet himself or other migrants for the purpose of reconnoitering and of dis- 
suading other tribes from siding with Quraysh. One of the other purposes of those expe- 
ditions may have been to accustom the Makkan Muslims to engage with enemy forces. 
For thirteen years they had been strict pacifists, and it is clear, from several passages of 
the Qur'an, that many of them disliked the idea of fighting and had to be inured to it. 

The Campaign of Badr 

In the second year of the Hijrah (migration) the Makkan merchants' caravan [which had 
the confiscated possessions of what the Muslims had left in Makkah] was returning from 
Syria as usual by a road which passed not far from Yathrib. As its leader Abu Sufyan ap- 
proached the territory of Yathrib he heard of the Prophet's plan to capture the caravan. 
At once he sent a camel-rider towards Makkah, who arrived in a worn-out state and 
shouted frantically from the valley to Quraysh to hasten to the rescue unless they wished 
to lose both wealth and honour. A force of a thousand strong was soon on its way to 
Yathrib: less, it would seem, with the hope of saving the caravan than with the idea of 
punishing the raiders, since the Prophet might have taken the caravan before the relief 
force started from Makkah. 

Did the Prophet ever intend to raid the caravan? In Ibn Hisham, in the account of the 
Tabuk expedition, it is stated that the Prophet on that one occasion did not hide his real 
objective. The caravan was the pretext in the campaign of Badr; the real objective was the 
Makkan army. 

He had received command to fight his persecutors, and with the promised of victory, he 
was prepared to venture against any odds, as was well seen at Badr. But the Muslims, ill- 
equipped for war, would have despaired if they had known from the first instance that 
they were to face a well-armed force three times their number. 



18 



The army of Quraysh had advanced more than half-way to Yathrib before the Prophet 
set out. All three parties — the army of Quraysh, the Muslim army and the caravan — were 
heading for the water of Badr. Abu Sufyan, the leader of the caravan, heard from one of 
his scouts that the Muslims were near the water, and turned back to the coast-plain leav- 
ing the Muslims to meet the army of Quraysh by the well of Badr. 

Before the battle, the Prophet was prepared, still further to increase the odds against him. 
He gave leave to all the Ansar (natives of Yathrib) to return to their homes un- 
reproached, since their oath did not include the duty of fighting in the field; but the Ansar 
were only hurt by the suggestion that they could possibly desert him at a time of danger. 
The batde went at first against the Muslims, but against the odds with a much weaker ar- 
my they were victorious. 

The victory of Badr gave the Prophet new prestige among the Arab tribes; but thence- 
forth there was the feud of blood between Quraysh and the Islamic State in addition to 
the old religious hatred. Those passages of the Qur'an which refer to the battle of Badr 
give warning of much greater struggles yet to come. 

In fact in the following year, an army of three thousand came from Makkah to destroy 
Yathrib. The Prophet's first idea was merely to defend the city, a plan of which Abdullah 
ibn Ubayy, the leader of "the Hypocrites" ('Muslims by name only'), strongly approved. 
But the men who had fought at Badr and believed that God would help them against any 
odds thought it a shame that they should linger behind walls. 

The Battle on Mount Uhud 

The Prophet, approving of their faith and 2eal, gave way to them, and set out with an ar- 
my of one thousand men toward Mt. Uhud, where the enemy were encamped. Abdullah 
ibn Ubayy was much offended by the change of plan. He thought it unlikely that the 
Prophet really meant to give batde in conditions so adverse to the Muslims, and was un- 
willing to take part in a mere demonstration designed to flatter the Muslims. So he with- 
drew with his men, a fourth or so of the army. 

Despite the heavy odds, the battle on Mt. Uhud would have been an even greater victory 
than that at Badr for the Muslims but for the disobedience of a band of fifty archers 
whom the Prophet set to guard a pass against the enemy cavalry. Seeing their comrades 
victorious, these men left their post, fearing to lose their share of the spoils. The cavalry 
of Quraysh rode through the gap and fell on the exultant Muslims. 

The Prophet himself was wounded and the cry arose that he was slain, till someone rec- 
ogni2ed him and shouted that he was still living; a shout to which the Muslims rallied. 
Gathering round the Prophet, they retreated, leaving many dead on the hillside. 

On the following day the Prophet again ventured forth with what remained of the army, 
with the intention that the Quraysh might hear that he was in the field and so might per- 
haps be deterred from attacking the city. The stratagem succeeded, thanks to the beha- 
viour of a friendly Bedouin, who met the Muslims and conversed with them and after- 
wards met the army of Quraysh. Questioned by Abu Sufyan, he said that Muhammad was 

19 



in the field, stronger than ever, and thirsting for revenge for yesterday's affair. On that in- 
formation, Abu Sufyan decided to return to Makkah. 

Massacre of Muslims 

The reverse which they had suffered on Mt. Uhud lowered the prestige of the Muslims 
with the Arab tribes and also with the Jews of Yathrib. Tribes which had inclined toward 
the Muslims now inclined toward Quraysh. The Prophet's followers were attacked and 
murdered when they went abroad in little companies. Khubayb, one of his envoys, was 
captured by a desert tribe and sold to Quraysh, who tortured him to death in Makkah 
publicly. 

Expulsion of B anu-N adhe er 

The Jews, despite their treaty, now hardly concealed their hostility. They even went so far 
in flatter)' of Quraysh as to declare the religion of the pagan Arabs superior to Islam. The 
Prophet was obliged to take punitive action against some of them. The tribe of Banu- 
Nadheer were besieged in their strong towers, subdued and forced to emigrate. The Hy- 
pocrites had sympathized with the Jews and secredy egged them on. 

The War of the Trench 

In the fifth year of the Hijrah the idolaters made a great effort to destroy Islam in the War 
of the Clans or War of the Trench, as it is variously called; when Quraysh with all their 
clans and the great desert tribe of Ghatafan with all their clans, an army of ten thousand 
men rode against Al-Madinah (Yathrib). The Prophet (by the advice of Salman the Per- 
sian) caused a deep trench to be dug before the city, and himself led the work of digging 
it. 

The army of the clans was stopped by the trench, a novelty in Arab warfare. It seemed 
impassable for cavalry, which formed their strength. They camped in sight of it and daily 
showered their arrows on its defenders. While the Muslims were awaiting the assault, 
news came that Banu Quraythah, a Jewish tribe of Yathrib which had till then been loyal, 
had gone over to the enemy. The case seemed desperate. But the delay caused by the 
trench had dampened the zeal of the clans, and one who was secredy a Muslim managed 
to sow distrust between Quraysh and their Jewish allies, so that both hesitated to act. 
Then came a bitter wind from the sea, which blew for three days and nights so terribly 
that not a tent could be kept standing, not a fire lighted, not a pot boiled. The tribesmen 
were in utter misery. At length, one night the leader of Quraysh decided that the torment 
could be borne no longer and gave the order to retire. When Ghatafan awoke next morn- 
ing they found Quraysh had gone and they too took up their baggage and retreated. 

Punishment of Banu Quraythah 

On the day of the return from the trench the Prophet ordered war on the treacherous 
Banu Quraythah. who, conscious of their guilt, had already taken to their towers of re- 
fuge. After a siege of nearly a month they had to surrender unconditionally. They only 
begged that they might be judged by a member of the Arab tribe of which they were ad- 

20 



herents. The Prophet granted their request. But the judge, upon whose favor they had 
counted, condemned their fighting men to death, their women and children to slavery. 

Early in the sixth year of the Hijrah the Prophet led a campaign against the Bani al- 
Mustaliq, a tribe who were preparing to attack the Muslims. 

Al-Hudaybiyah 

In the same year the Prophet had a vision in which he found himself entering the holy 
place at Makkah unopposed, therefore he determined to attempt the pilgrimage. Attired 
as pilgrims, and taking with them the customary offerings, a company of fourteen hun- 
dred men journeyed to Makkah. As they drew near the holy valley they were met by a 
friend from the city, who warned the Prophet that Quraysh had put on their leopards- 
skins (the badge of valour) and had sworn to prevent his entering the sanctuary; their ca- 
valry was on the road before him. On that, the Prophet ordered a detour through moun- 
tain gorges and the Muslims were tired out when they came down at last into the valley of 
Makkah and encamped at a spot called Al-Hudaybiyah; from here he tried to open nego- 
tiations with Quraysh, to explain that he came only as a pilgrim. 

The first messenger he sent towards the city was maltreated and his camel hamstrung. He 
returned without delivering his message. Quraysh on their side sent an envoy which was 
threatening in manner, and very arrogant. Another of their envoys was too familiar and 
had to be reminded: sternly of the respect due to the Prophet. It was he who, on his re- 
turn to the city, said: "I have seen Caesar and Chosroes in their pomp, but never have I 
seen a man honoured as Muhammad is honoured by his comrades." 

The Prophet sought some messenger who would impose respect. Uthman was finally 
chosen because of his kinship with the powerful Umayyad family. While the Muslims 
were awaiting his return the news came that he had been murdered. It was then that the 
Prophet, sitting under a tree in Al-Hudaybiyah, took an oath from all his comrades that 
they would stand or fall together. After a while, however, it became known that Uthman 
had not been murdered. A troop which came out from the city to molest the Muslims in 
their camp was captured before they could do any hurt and brought before the Prophet, 
who forgave them on their promise to renounce hostility. 

Truce of Al-Hudaybiyah 

Then proper envoys came from Quraysh. After some negotiation, the truce of Al- 
Hudaybiyah was signed. For ten years there were to be no hostilities between the parties. 
The Prophet was to return to Madinah without visiting the Ka'bah, but in the following 
year he might perform the pilgrimage with his comrades, Quraysh promising to evacuate 
Makkah for three days to allow of his doing so. Deserters from Quraysh to the Muslims 
during the period of the truce were to be returned; not so deserters from the Muslims to 
Quraysh. Any tribe or clan who wished to share in, the treaty as allies of the Prophet 
might do so, and any tribe or clan who wished to share in the treaty as allies of Quraysh 
might do so. 

There was dismay among the Muslims at these terms. They asked one another: "Where is 
the victory that we were promised?" It was during the return journey from al-Hudaybiyah 

21 



that the Surah entitled "The Conquest" (surah 48) was revealed. This truce proved, in 
fact, to be the greatest victory that the Muslims had till then achieved. War had been a 
barrier between them and the idolaters, but now both parties met and talked together, 
and the religion spread more rapidly. In the two years which elapsed between the signing 
of the truce and the fall of Makkah the number of reverts was greater than the total num- 
ber of all previous reverts. The Prophet traveled to Al-Hudaybiyah with 1400 men. Two 
years later, when the Makkans broke the truce, he marched against them with an army of 
10,000. 

The Campaign of Khaybar 

In the seventh year after the Hijrah, the Prophet led a campaign against Khaybar, the 
stronghold of the Jewish tribes in North Arabia, which had become a hornets' nest of his 
enemies. The forts of Khaybar were reduced one by one, and the Jews of Khaybar be- 
came thenceforth tenants of the Muslims until the expulsion of the Jews from Arabia in 
the 'Caliphate of Umar.' On the day when the last fort surrendered Ja'far son of Abu Ta- 
lib, the Prophet's first cousin, arrived with all who remained of the Muslims who had fled 
to Abyssinia to escape from persecution in the early days. 

They had been absent from Arabia for fifteen years. It was at Khaybar that a Jewess pre- 
pared for the Prophet poisoned meat, of which he only tasted a morsel without swallow- 
ing it, and then warned his comrades that it was poisoned. One Muslim, who had already 
swallowed a mouthful, died immediately, and the Prophet himself, from the mere taste of 
it, derived the illness which eventually caused his death. The woman who had cooked the 
meat was brought before him. When she said that she had done it on account of the hu- 
miliation of her people, he forgave her. 

Pilgrimage to Makkah 

In following year the Prophet's vision was fulfilled: he visited the holy place at Makkah 
unopposed. In accordance with the terms of the truce the idolaters evacuated the city, 
and from the surrounding heights watched the procedure of the Muslims. At the end of 
the stipulated three days the chiefs of Quraysh sent a reminder to the Prophet that the 
time was up. He then withdrew, and the idolaters reoccupied the city. 

Mu'tah Expedition 

In the eighth year of the Hijrah, hearing that the Byzantine emperor was gathering a force 
in Syria for the destruction of Islam, the Prophet sent three thousand men to Syria under 
the command of his freed slave Zayd. The campaign was unsuccessful except that it im- 
pressed the Syrians with a notion of the reckless valour of the Muslims. The three thou- 
sand did not hesitate to join batde with a hundred thousand. When all the three leaders 
appointed by the Prophet had been killed, the survivors under the command of Khalid 
ibn al-Walid, who, by his strategy and courage, managed to preserve a remnant and return 
with them to Madinah. 



22 



Truce Broken by Quraysh 

In the same year Quraysh broke the truce by attacking a tribe that was in alliance with the 
Prophet and massacring them even in the sanctuary at Makkah. Afterwards they were 
afraid because of what they had done. They sent Abu Sufyan to Madinah to ask for the 
existing treaty to be renewed and, its term prolonged. They hoped that he would arrive 
before the tidings of the massacre. But a messenger from the injured tribe had been be- 
fore him, and his embassy was fruitless. 

Conquest of Makkah 

Then the Prophet summoned all the Muslims capable of bearing arms and marched to 
Makkah. The Quraysh were overawed. Their cavalry put up a show of defence before the 
town, but were routed without bloodshed; and the Prophet entered his native city on 
horseback with his head humbled before God as conqueror. The inhabitants expected 
vengeance for their past misdeeds. The Prophet proclaimed a general amnesty. Only a 
few known criminals were proscribed, and most of those were in the end forgiven. In 
their relief and surprise, the whole population of Makkah hastened to swear allegiance. 
The Prophet caused all the idols which were in the sanctuary to be destroyed, saying: 
"Truth has come; darkness has vanished away;" and the Muslim call to prayer was heard 
in Makkah. 

Battle of Hunayn 

In the same year there was an angry gathering of pagan tribes eager to regain the Ka'bah. 
The Prophet led twelve thousand men against them. At Hunayn, in a deep ravine, his 
troops were ambushed by the enemy and almost put to flight. It was with difficulty that 
they were rallied to the Prophet and his bodyguard of faithful comrades who alone stood 
firm. But the victory, when it came, was complete and the booty enormous, for many of 
the hostile tribes had brought out with them everything that they possessed. 

Conquest of Ta'if 

The tribe of Thaqif was among the enemy at Hunayn. After that victory their city of Ta'if 
was besieged by the Muslims, and finally reduced. Then the Prophet appointed a gover- 
nor of Makkah, and himself returned to Madinah to the boundless joy of the Ansar, who 
had feared lest, now that he had regained his native city, he might forsake them and make 
Makkah the capital. 

The Tabuk Expedition 

In the ninth year of the Hijrah, hearing that an army was again being mustered in Syria, 
the Prophet called on all the Muslims to support him in a great campaign. The far dis- 
tance, the hot season, the fact that it was harvest time and the prestige of the enemy 
caused many to excuse themselves and many more to stay behind without excuse. Those 
defaulters are denounced in the Qur'an. But the campaign ended peacefully. The army 
advanced to Tabuk, on the confines of Syria, and then learnt that the enemy had not yet 
gathered. 

23 



Declaration of Immunity 

Although Makkah had been conquered and its people were now Muslims, the official or- 
der of the pilgrimage had not been changed; the pagan Arabs performing it in their man- 
ner, and the Muslims in their manner. It was only after the pilgrims' caravan had left Ma- 
dinah in the ninth year of the Hijrah, when Islam was dominant in North Arabia, that the 
Declaration of Immunity, as it is called, was revealed (Surah 9). The Prophet sent a copy 
of it by messenger to Abu Bakr, leader of the pilgrimage, with the instruction that Ali was 
to read it to the multitudes at Makkah. Its declaration was that after that year, Muslims 
only were to make the pilgrimage, exception being made for such of the idolaters as had a 
treaty with the Muslims and had never broken their treaty nor supported anyone against 
them. Such were to enjoy the privileges of their treaty for the term thereof, but when 
their treaty expired they would be as other idolaters. That proclamation marks the end of 
idol- worship in Arabia. 

The Year of Deputations 

The ninth year of the Hijrah is called the Year of Deputations, because from all parts of 
Arabia deputations came to Madinah to swear allegiance to the Prophet and to hear the 
Qur'an. The Prophet had become, in fact, the Ruler of Arabia, but his way of life re- 
mained as simple as before. He personally controlled every detail of organi2ation, judged 
every case and was accessible to every suppliant. In the last ten years he destroyed idolatry 
in Arabia; raised women from the status of a catde to legal equity with men; effectually 
stopped the drunkenness and immorality which had fill then disgraced the Arabs; made 
men in love with faith, sincerity and honest dealing; transformed tribes who had been for 
centuries content with ignorance into a people with the greatest thirst for knowledge; and 
for the first time in history made universal human brotherhood a fact and principle of 
common law. And his support and guide in all that work was the Qur'an. 

The Farewell Pilgrimage 

In the tenth year of the Hijrah, the Prophet Muhammad went to Makkah as a pilgrim for 
the last time — his "pilgrimage of farewell" as it is called — when from Mt. 'Arafat he 
preached to an enormous throng of pilgrims. He reminded them of all the duties Islam 
enjoined upon them, and that they would one day have to meet their Lord, who would 
judge each one of them according to his work. He said: 

"O People, listen well to my words, for I do not know whether, after this year, I shall 
ever be amongst you again. Therefore listen to what I am saying to you very carefully 
and take these words to those who could not be present here today. 

O People, just as you regard this month, this day, this city as Sacred, so regard the life 
and property of every Muslim as a sacred trust. Return the goods entrusted to you to 
their rightful owners. Treat others justly so that no one would be unjust to you. Re- 
member that you will indeed meet your Lord, and that He will indeed reckon your 
deeds. God has forbidden you to take usury (ribd), therefore all riba obligation shall 
henceforth be waived. Your capital, however, is yours to keep. You will neither inflict 
nor suffer inequity 



24 



Beware of the devil, for the safety of your religion. He has lost all hope that he 

will ever be able to lead you astray in big things, so beware of following him in small 
things. 

O People, it is true that you have certain rights over your women, but they also have 
rights over you. Remember that you have taken them as your wives only under God's 
trust and with His permission. If they abide by your right then to them belongs the 
right to be fed and clothed in kindness. Treat your women well and be kind to them, 
for they are your partners and committed helpers. It is your right that they do not 
make friends with anyone of whom you do not approve, as well as never to be un- 
chaste... 

O People, listen to me in earnest, worship God (The One Creator of the Universe), 
perform your five daily prayers (Salah), fast during the month of Ramadan, and give 
your financial obligation (zakah) of your wealth. Perform Hajj if you can afford to. 

All mankind are from Adam and Eve - an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab 
nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over 
a black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action. 
Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute 
one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belongs to a fellow 
Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly. Do not, therefore, do injustice to 
yourselves. 

Remember, one day you will appear before God (The Creator) and you will answer 
for your deeds. So beware, do not stray from the path of righteousness after I am 
gone. 

O People, no prophet or messenger will come after me and no new faith will be born. 
Reason well, therefore, O People, and understand words which I convey to you. I am 
leaving you with the Book of God (the Qur'an) and my Sunnah (practices), if you fol- 
low them you will never go astray. 

All those who listen to me shall pass on my words to others and those to others 
again; and may the last ones understand my words better than those who listen to me 
directly. Be my witness O God, that I have conveyed your message to your people. 

Illness and Death of the Prophet 

It was during that last pilgrimage that the Surah entitled 'Victory' (surah 110) was re- 
vealed, which he received as an announcement of approaching death. Soon after his re- 
turn to Madinah he fell ill. The tidings of his illness caused dismay throughout Arabia and 
anguish to the folk of Madinah, Makkah and Ta'if, the hometowns. At early dawn on the 
last day of his earthly life he came out from his room beside the masjid at Madinah and 
joined the public prayer, which Abu Bakr had been leading since his illness. And there 
was great relief among the people, who supposed him well again. 

When, later in the day, the rumour grew that he was dead. Umar threatened those who 
spread the rumour with dire punishment, declaring it a crime to think that the Messenger 
of God could die. He was storming at the people in that strain when Abu Bakr came into 
the mosque and overheard him. Abu Bakr went to the chamber of his daughter Aisha, 

25 



where the Prophet lay. Having ascertained the fact, kissed the dead-man's forehead and 
went back into the mosque. The people were still listening to Umar, who was saying that 
the rumour was a wicked lie, that the Prophet who was all in all to them could not be 
dead. Abu Bakr went up to Umar and tried to stop him by a whispered word. Then, find- 
ing he would pay no heed, Abu Bakr called to the people, who, recogni2ing his voice, left 
Umar and came crowding round him. He first gave praise to God, and then said: "O 
people! Lo! As for him who worshipped Muhammad, Muhammad is dead. But as for him 
who worships God, God is Alive and dies not." He then recited the verse of the Qur'an: 

"Muhammad is not but a messenger. [Other] messengers have passed on 
before him. So if he was to die or be killed, would you turn back on your 
heels [to unbelief]? And he who turns back on his heels will never harm 
God at all; but God will reward the grateful." 

Qur'an 3:144 

"And," says the narrator: an eye-witness, "it was as if the people had not known that such 
a verse had been revealed till Abu Bakr recited it." And another witness tells how Umar 
used to say: when "I heard Abu Bakr recite that verse my feet were cut from beneath me 
and I fell to the ground, for I knew that God's messenger was dead, May God bless him!" 
The final messeneger sent to humanity died at the age of 63 years old in the 10 th year of 
the Hijrah (migration) - 632 A.D. 

Such is Prophet Muhammad. According to every standard by which human greatness can 
be measured he was matchless; no person was ever greater. 

Source: A.B. al-Mehri. Edited from following sources — 

M. Pickthall, Introduction - The Glorious Qur'an, 
K. Murrad, Who is Muhammad? 
M. Mawdudi, Tajhim al-Qur'dn 



26 



The Qur'an 



Saheeh International Translation 



27 



Surah 1: al-Fatihah www.quranproject.org 1: The Opening 

Surah 1: al-Fatihah 

Period of Revelation 

It is one of the very earliest Revelations to the Prophet. As a matter of fact we learn from authentic Ha- 
dith (traditions) that it was the first complete Surah which was revealed to Prophet Muhammad. Before 
this only a few verses were revealed which form parts of Surah Alaq, Nun, Muzzammil and Muddathir. 

Theme 

This Surah is in fact a prayer which God has taught to all those who want to make a study of His Book. 
It has been placed at the very beginning of the Book to teach this lesson to the reader: if you sincerely 
want to benefit from the Qur'an, you should offer this prayer to the Lord of the Universe. 

This preface is meant to create a strong desire in the heart of the reader to seek guidance from the Lord 
of the Universe, who alone can grant it. Thus al-Fatihah indirectly teaches that the best thing for a man is 
to pray for guidance to the straight path, to study the Qur'an with the mental attitude of a seeker-after- 
truth and to recognize the fact that the Lord of the Universe is the source of all knowledge. He should, 
therefore, begin the study of the Qur'an with a prayer to him for guidance. 

From this theme, it becomes clear that the real relation between al-Fatihah and the Qur'an is not that of 
an introduction to a book but that of a prayer and its answer. Al-Fatihah is the prayer from the servant 
and the Qur'an is the answer from the the Master to his prayer. The servant prays to God to show him 
guidance and the Master places the whole of the Qur'an before him in answer to his prayer, as if to say, 
"This is the Guidance you begged from Me." 



28 



Surah 1: al-Fatihah www.quranproject.org 1: The Opening 

Surah 1: al-Fatihah 1 

1 . In the name of God, 2 the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful. 3 

2. [All] praise is [due] to God, Lord 4 of the worlds - 

3. The Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful, 

4. Sovereign of the Day of Recompense. 5 

5. It is You we worship and You we ask for help. 

6. Guide us to the straight path — 

7. The path of those upon whom You have bestowed favor, not of those who have 
evoked [Your] anger or of those who are astray. 



1 A.l-Fdtihah: The Opening (of the Qur'an). Note: Surah titles are not an integral part of the Qur'an. 
A distinguishing word in a particular surah or a word defining its subject matter often became a 
common means of identification among the Prophet's companions and later scholars. Although 
some names, such as al-Fatihah, were used by the Prophet in reference to a particular surah, they 
were not specifically designated by him as titles. 

2 God, Creator and Sustainer of the heavens and the earth and all that is within them, the Eternal 
and Absolute, to whom alone all worship is due. 

3 Ar-Rahmdn and &r-Raheem are two names of God derived from the word "rahmdh" (mercy). In 
Arabic grammar both are intensive forms of "merciful" (i.e., extremely merciful). A complimentary 
and comprehensive meaning is intended by using both together. 

Rahman is used only to describe God, while raheem might be used to describe a person as well. The 
Prophet was described in the Qur'an as raheem. Rahman is above the human level (i.e., intensely 
merciful). Since one usually understands intensity to be something of short duration, God de- 
scribes Himself also as raheem (i.e., continually merciful). 

Rahman also carries a wider meaning - merciful to all creation. Justice is a part of this mercy. Ra- 
heem includes the concept of speciality - especially and specifically merciful to the believers. For- 
giveness is a part of this mercy. (See al-Qurtubl's al-Jami'u li Ahkdmil-Qur'dn, pp.103-107.) 
However we will incorporate the translation henceforth, 'In the Name of God, the Most Compas- 
sionate, the Most Merciful' 

4 When referring to God, the Arabic term "rabb" (translated as "Lord") includes all of the follow- 
ing meanings: "owner, master, ruler, controller, sustainer, provider, guardian and caretaker." 

5 i.e., repayment and compensation for whatever was earned of good or evil during life on this 
earth. 

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Surah 2: al-Baqarah www.quranproject.org 2: The Cow 

Surah 2: al-Baqarah 

Sequence 

Though it is a Madani Surah, it follows naturally a Makki Surah Al-Fatihah, which ended with the prayer: 
"Show us the straight way." It begins with the answer to that prayer, "This is the Book (that) ... is 
guidance." The greater part of Al-Baqarah was revealed during the first two years of the Prophet's life at 
Madinah. The smaller part which was revealed at a later period has been included in this Surah because its 
contents are closely related to those dealt with in this Surah. 

Historical Background 

In order to understand the meaning of this Surah, we should know its historical background: 

1 . At Makkah the Qur'an generally addressed the polytheist Quraysh who were ignorant of Islam, but 
at Madinah it was also concerned with the Jews who were acquainted with the creed of the Oneness 
of God, Prophethood, Revelation, the Hereafter and Angels. They also professed to believe in the 
law which was revealed by God to their Prophet Moses, and in principle, their way was the same 
(Islam) that was being taught by Prophet Muhammad. But they had strayed away from it during the 
centuries of degeneration and had adopted many un-Islamic creeds, rites and customs of which 
there was no mention and for which there was no sanction in the Torah. Not only this: they had 
tampered with the Torah by inserting their own explanations and interpretations into its text. They 
had distorted even that part of the Word of God which had remained intact in their Scriptures and 
taken out of it the real spirit of true religion and were now clinging to a lifeless frame of rituals. 
Consequently their beliefs, their morals and their conduct had gone to the lowest depths of degene- 
ration. The pity is that they were not only satisfied with their condition but loved to cling to it. Be- 
sides this, they had no intention or inclination to accept any kind of reform. So they became bitter 
enemies of those who came to teach them the Right Way and did their worst to defeat every such 
effort. Though they were originally Muslims, they had swerved from the real Islam and made inno- 
vations and alterations in it and had fallen victims to hair splitting and sectarianism. They had for- 
gotten and forsaken God and begun to serve material wealth. So much so that they had even given 
up their original name "Muslim" and adopted the name "Jew" instead, and made religion the sole 
monopoly of the children of Israel. This was their religious condition when the Prophet went to 
Madinah and invited the Jews to the true religion. That is why more than one third of this Surah has 
been addressed to the children of Israel. A critical review of their history, their moral degeneration 
and their religious perversions has been made. Side by side with this, the high standard of morality 
and the fundamental principles of the pure religion have been put forward in order to bring out 
clearly the nature of the degeneration of the community of a prophet when it goes astray and to 
draw clear lines of demarcation between real piety and formalism, and the essentials and non- 
essentials of the true religion. 

2. At Makkah, Islam was mainly concerned with the propagation of its fundamental principles and the 
moral training of its followers. But after the migration of the Prophet to Madinah, where Muslims 
had come to settle from all over Arabia and where a tiny Islamic State had been set up with the help 
of the Ansar (local supporters), naturally the Qur'an had to turn its attention to the social, cultural, 
economic, political and legal problems as well. This accounts for the difference between the themes 
of the Surahs revealed at Makkah and those at Madinah. Accordingly about half of this Surah deals 
with those principles and regulations which are essential for the integration and solidarity of a 
community and for the solution of its problems. 



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After the migration to Madinah, the struggle between Islam and Kufr (disbelief) had also entered a new 
phase. Before this the Believers, who propagated Islam among their own clans and tribes, had to face its op- 
ponents at their own risk. But the conditions had changed at Madinah, where Muslims from all parts of Ara- 
bia had come and settled as one community, and had established an independent city state. Here it became a 
struggle for the survival of the Community itself, for the whole of non- Muslim Arabia was bent upon and 
united in crushing it totally. Hence the following instructions, upon which depended not only its success but 
its very survival, were revealed in this Surah: 

a. The Community should work with the utmost zeal to propagate its ideology and win over to its side 
the greatest possible number of people. 

b. It should so expose its opponents as to leave no room for doubt in the mind of any sensible person 
that they were adhering to an absolutely wrong position. 

c. It should infuse in its members (the majority of whom were homeless and indigent and surrounded 
on all sides by enemies) that courage and fortitude which is so indispensable to their very existence 
in the adverse circumstances in which they were struggling and to prepare them to face these bold- 
ly. 

d. It should also keep them ready and prepared to meet any armed menace, which might come from 
any side to suppress and crush their ideology, and to oppose it tooth and nail without minding the 
overwhelming numerical strength and the material resources of its enemies. 

e. It should also create in them that courage which is needed for the eradication of evil ways and for 
the establishment of the Islamic Way instead. That is why God has revealed in this Surah such in- 
structions as may help achieve all the above mentioned objects. 

At the time of the revelation of Al-Baqarah, all sorts of hypocrites had begun to appear. God has, therefore, 
briefly pointed out their characteristics here. Afterwards when their evil characteristics and mischievous 
deeds became manifest, God sent detailed instructions about them. 

Theme: Guidance 

This Surah is an invitation to the Divine Guidance and all the stories, incidents etc., revolve around this cen- 
tral theme. As this Surah has particularly been addressed to the Jews, many historical events have been cited 
from their own traditions to admonish and advise them that their own good lies in accepting the Guidance 
revealed to the Prophet. They should, therefore, be the first to accept it because it was basically the same that 
was revealed to Prophet Moses. 



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Surah 2: al-Baqarah 6 

In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, 
the Most Merciful 

1. Alif, Lam, Meem. 7 

2. This is the Book about which there is 
no doubt, a guidance for those con- 
scious of God 8 - 



3. Who believe in the unseen, establish 
prayer, 9 and spend out of what We 



10 



have provided for them, 



4. 



5. 



6. 



And who believe in what has been re- 
vealed to you, [O Muhammad], and 
what was revealed before you, and of 
the Hereafter they are certain [in faith] . 

Those are upon [right] guidance from 
their Lord, and it is those who are the 
successful. 

Indeed, those who disbelieve 11 - it is all 
the same for them whether you warn 
them or do not warn them - they will 
not believe. 



6 Al-Baqarah. The Cow. The name is taken from 
the story in verses 67-73. 

7 These are among the fourteen opening letters 
which occur in various combinations at the be- 
ginning of twenty-nine surahs in the Qur'an. Al- 
though there has been much speculation as to 
their meaning, it was not, in fact, revealed by God 
to anyone and is known only to Him. 

8 Literally, "those who have taqwa" i.e., who have 
piety, righteousness, fear and love of God, and 
who take great care to avoid His displeasure. 

9 At its proper times and according to its speci- 
fied conditions. 

10 It is to be noted that the reference of God to 
Himself as "We" in many Qur'anic verses is nec- 
essarily understood in the Arabic language to 
denote grandeur and power, as apposed to the 
more intimate singular form "I" used in specific 
instances. 

11 Literally, "cover" or "conceal" (faith or truth). 



7. God has set a seal upon their hearts 
and upon their hearing, and over their 
vision is a veil. 12 And for them is a great 
punishment. 

8. And of the people are some who say, 
"We believe in God and the Last Day," 
but they are not believers. 

9. They [think to] deceive God and those 
who believe, but they deceive not ex- 
cept themselves and perceive [it] not. 

10. In their hearts is disease, so God has 
increased their disease; 13 and for them 
is a painful punishment because they 
[habitually] used to lie. 

11. And when it is said to them, "Do not 
cause corruption on the earth," they 
say, "We are but reformers." 

12. Unquestionably, it is they who are the 
corrupters, but they perceive [it] not. 

13. And when it is said to them, "Believe as 
the people have believed," they say, 
"Should we believe as the foolish have 
believed?" Unquestionably, it is they 
who are the foolish, but they know [it] 
not. 

14. And when they meet those who be- 
lieve, they say, "We believe"; but when 
they are alone with their evil ones, they 
say, "Indeed, we are with you; we were 
only mockers." 

15. [But] God mocks them and prolongs 
them in their transgression [while] they 
wander blindly. 



12 A covering preventing them from discerning 
guidance. This condition is a direct result of their 
arrogance and persistence in sin. 

13 The "disease" mentioned here includes doubt, 
hypocrisy, arrogance and disbelief. 



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16. Those are the ones who have pur- 22. 
chased error [in exchange] for guidance, 

so their transaction has brought no 
profit, nor were they guided. 

17. Their example is that of one who kin- 
dled a fire, but when it illuminated what 
was around him, God took away their 

light and left them in darkness [so] they 23. 

could not see. 

1 8. Deaf, dumb and blind - so they will not 
return [to the right path] . 

19. Or [it is] like a rainstorm from the sky 
within which is darkness, thunder and 
lightning. They put their fingers in their 24. 
ears against the thunderclaps in dread 

of death. But God is encompassing 14 of 
the disbelievers. 



[He] who made for you the earth a bed 
[spread out] and the sky a ceiling and 
sent down from the sky, rain and 
brought forth thereby fruits as provi- 
sion for you. So do not attribute to 
God equals while you know [that there 
is nothing similar to Him], 

And if you are in doubt about what We 
have sent down [i.e., the Qur'an] upon 
Our Servant [i.e., Prophet Muhammad], 
then produce a surah the like thereof 
and call upon your witnesses [i.e., sup- 
porters] other than God, if you should 
be truthful. 

But if you do not - and you will never 
be able to - then fear the Fire, whose 
fuel is men and stones, prepared for the 
disbelievers. 



20. The lightning almost snatches away 
their sight. Every time it lights [the way] 
for them, they walk therein; but when 
darkness comes over them, they stand 
[still]. And if God had willed, He could 
have taken away their hearing and their 
sight. Indeed, God is over all things 
competent. 

21. O mankind, worship your Lord, who 
created you and those before you, that 
you may become righteous — 



14 God states in the Qur'an that He has certain 
attributes such as hearing, sight, hands, face, mer- 
cy, anger, coming, encompassing, being above the 
Throne, etc. Yet, He has disassociated Himself 
from the limitations of human attributes or hu- 
man imagination. Correct Islamic belief requires 
faith in the existence of these attributes as God 
has described them without applying to them any 
allegorical meanings or attempting to explain how 
a certain quality could be (while this is known 
only to God) and without comparing them to 
creation or denying that He would have such a 
quality. His attributes are befitting to Him alone, 
and "There is nothing like unto Him." (42:11) 



25. And give good tidings to those who 
believe and do righteous deeds that 
they will have gardens [in Paradise] be- 
neath which rivers flow. Whenever they 
are provided with a provision of fruit 
therefrom, they will say, "This is what 
we were provided with before." And it 
is given to them in likeness. And they 
will have therein purified spouses, and 
they will abide therein eternally. 

26. Indeed, God is not timid to present an 
example - that of a mosquito or what is 
smaller 15 than it. And those who have 
believed know that it is the truth from 
their Lord. But as for those who disbe- 
lieve, they say, "What did God intend 
by this as an example?" He misleads 
many thereby and guides many thereby. 
And He misleads not except the de- 
fiantly disobedient, 

27. Who break the covenant of God after 
contracting it and sever that which God 



' Literally, "above it," i.e., greater in smallness. 



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has ordered to be joined and cause cor- 
ruption on earth. It is those who are 
the losers. 

28. How can you disbelieve in God when 
you were lifeless and He brought you 
to life; then He will cause you to die, 
then He will bring you [back] to life, 
and then to Him you will be returned. 

29. It is He who created for you all of that 
which is on the earth. Then He directed 
Himself 16 to the heaven, [His being 
above all creation], and made them sev- 
en heavens, and He is Knowing of all 
things. 

30. And [mention, O Muhammad], when 
your Lord said to the angels, "Indeed, I 
will make upon the earth a successive 
authority." 17 They said, "Will You place 
upon it one who causes corruption 
therein and sheds blood, while we dec- 
lare Your praise and sanctify You?" He 
[God] said, "Indeed, I know that which 
you do not know." 

31. And He taught Adam the names - all of 
them. Then He showed them to the 
angels and said, "Inform Me of the 
names of these, if you are truthful." 

32. They said, "Exalted are You; we have 
no knowledge except what You have 
taught us. Indeed, it is You who is the 
Knowing, the Wise." 

33. He said, "O Adam, inform them of 
their names." And when he had in- 
formed them of their names, He said, 
"Did I not tell you that I know the un- 
seen [aspects] of the heavens and the 
earth? And I know what you reveal and 
what you have concealed." 

16 See footnote to 2:19. 

17 Khalifat, successor, or generations of man, one 
following another. 



34. And [mention] when We said to the 
angels, "Prostrate before Adam"; so 
they prostrated, except for Iblees. 18 He 
refused and was arrogant and became 
of the disbelievers. 

35. And We said, "O Adam, dwell, you and 
your wife, in Paradise and eat there- 
from in [ease and] abundance from 
wherever you will. But do not approach 
this tree, lest you be among the wrong- 
doers." 

36. But Satan caused them to slip out of it 
and removed them from that [condi- 
tion] in which they had been. And We 
said, "Go down, [all of you], as enemies 
to one another, and you will have upon 
the earth a place of settlement and pro- 
vision for a time." 

37. Then Adam received from his Lord 
[some] words, 19 and He accepted his 
repentance. Indeed, it is He who is the 
Accepting of repentance, the Merciful. 

38. We said, "Go down from it, all of you. 
And when guidance comes to you from 
Me, whoever follows My guidance - 
there will be no fear concerning them, 
nor will they grieve. 

39. And those who disbelieve and deny 
Our signs - those will be companions 
of the Fire; they will abide therein eter- 
nally." 

40. O Children of Israel, remember My 
favor which I have bestowed upon you 
and fulfill My covenant [upon you] that 



18 The proper name of Satan, who was not an 
angel but from the jinn, as stated in 18:50. Done 
in obedience to God, this prostration was one of 
respect, not worship. 

19 God taught Adam words of repentance that 
would be acceptable to Him. 



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I will fulfill your covenant [from Me], 
and be afraid of [only] Me. 

41. And believe in what I have sent down 
confirming that which is [already] with 
you, and be not the first to disbelieve in 
it. And do not exchange My signs for a 
small price, and fear [only] Me. 



42. 



43. 



44. 



And do not mix the truth with false- 
hood or conceal the truth while you 
know [it]. 

And establish prayer and give zakah 20 
and bow with those who bow [in wor- 
ship and obedience] . 

Do you order righteousness of the 
people and forget 21 yourselves while 
you recite the Scripture? Then will you 
not reason? 



45. And seek help through patience and 
prayer, and indeed, it is difficult except 
for the humbly submissive [to God] 

46. Who are certain that they will meet 
their Lord and that they will return to 
Him. 

47. O Children of Israel, remember My 
favor that I have bestowed upon you 
and that I preferred you over the 
worlds [i.e., peoples]. 

48. And fear a Day when no soul will suf- 
fice for another soul 22 at all, nor will in- 
tercession be accepted from it, nor will 
compensation be taken from it, nor will 
they be aided. 



20 An annual expenditure for the benefit of the 
Islamic community (see 9:60) required of those 
Muslims who have excess wealth. Prayer and 
%akdh are among the pillars of Islam. 

21 Make exceptions of. 

22 i.e., fulfil what is due from it. 



49. And [recall] when We saved you [i.e., 
your forefathers] from the people of 
Pharaoh, who afflicted you with the 
worst torment, slaughtering your [new- 
born] sons and keeping your females 
alive. And in that was a great trial from 
your Lord. 

50. And [recall] when We parted the sea for 
you and saved you and drowned the 
people of Pharaoh while you were 
looking on. 

51. And [recall] when We made an ap- 
pointment with Moses for forty nights. 
Then you took [for worship] the calf 
after him [i.e., his departure], while you 
were wrongdoers. 

52. Then We forgave you after that so per- 
haps you would be grateful. 

53. And [recall] when We gave Moses the 
Scripture and criterion 23 that perhaps 
you would be guided. 

54. And [recall] when Moses said to his 
people, "O my people, indeed you have 
wronged yourselves by your taking of 
the calf [for worship] . So repent to your 
Creator and kill yourselves [i.e., the 
guilty among you]. That is best for [all 
of] you in the sight of your Creator." 
Then He accepted your repentance; in- 
deed, He is the Accepting of repen- 
tance, the Merciful. 

55. And [recall] when you said, "O Moses, 
we will never believe you until we see 
God outright"; so the thunderbolt took 
you while you were looking on. 

56. Then We revived you after your death 
that perhaps you would be grateful. 



23 Differentiating between truth and falsehood. 
"The Scripture and criterion" refers to the Torah. 



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57. And We shaded you with clouds and 
sent down to you manna and quails, 
[saying], "Eat from the good things 
with which We have provided you." 
And they wronged Us not - but they 
were [only] wronging themselves. 

58. And [recall] when We said, "Enter this 
city [i.e., Jerusalem] and eat from it 
wherever you will in [ease and] abun- 
dance, and enter the gate bowing hum- 
bly 24 and say, 'Relieve us of our bur- 
dens [i.e., sins].' We will [then] forgive 
your sins for you, and We will increase 
the doers of good [in goodness and re- 
ward]." 

59. But those who wronged changed [those 
words] to a statement other than that 
which had been said to them, so We 
sent down upon those who wronged a 
punishment [i.e., plague] from the sky 
because they were defiandy disobeying. 



returned with anger from God [upon 
them]. That was because they [repeat- 
edly] disbelieved in the signs of God 
and killed the prophets without right. 
That was because they disobeyed and 
were [habitually] transgressing. 

62. Indeed, those who believed and those 
who were Jews or Christians or Sabeans 
[before Prophet Muhammad] - those 
[among them] who believed in God 
and the Last Day and did righteousness 
- will have their reward with their Lord, 
and no fear will there be concerning 
them, nor will they grieve. 25 

63. And [recall] when We took your cove- 
nant, [O Children of Israel, to abide by 
the Torah] and We raised over you the 
mount, [saying], "Take what We have 
given you with determination and re- 
member what is in it that perhaps you 
may become righteous." 



60. And [recall] when Moses prayed for 64. 

water for his people, so We said, 
"Strike with your staff the stone." And 
there gushed forth from it twelve 
springs, and every people [i.e., tribe] 
knew its watering place. "Eat and drink 65. 

from the provision of God, and do not 
commit abuse on the earth, spreading 
corruption." 



Then you turned away after that. And if 
not for the favor of God upon you and 
His mercy, you would have been 
among the losers. 

And you had already known about 
those who transgressed among you 
concerning the sabbath, and We said to 
them, "Be apes, despised." 



61. And [recall] when you said, "O Moses, 
we can never endure one [kind of] 
food. So call upon your Lord to bring 
forth for us from the earth its green 
herbs and its cucumbers and its garlic 
and its lentils and its onions." [Moses] 
said, "Would you exchange what is bet- 
ter for what is less? Go into [any] set- 
tlement and indeed, you will have what 
you have asked." And they were cov- 
ered with humiliation and poverty and 



24 In gratitude to God and admission of sin. 



66. And We made it a deterrent punish- 
ment for those who were present and 
those who succeeded [them] and a les- 
son for those who fear God. 

67. And [recall] when Moses said to his 
people, "Indeed, God commands you 
to slaughter a cow." They said, "Do 
you take us in ridicule?" He said, "I 



25 After the coming of Prophet Muhammad no 
religion other than Islam is acceptable to God, as 
stated in 3:85. 

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seek refuge in God from being among 
the ignorant." 

68. They said, "Call upon your Lord to 
make clear to us what it is." [Moses] 
said, "[God] says, 'It is a cow which is 
neither old nor virgin, but median be- 
tween that,' so do what you are com- 
manded." 

69. They said, "Call upon your Lord to 
show us what is her color." He said, 
"He says, 'It is a yellow cow, bright in 
color -pleasing to the observers.' " 

70. They said, "Call upon your Lord to 
make clear to us what it is. Indeed, [all] 
cows look alike to us. And indeed we, if 
God wills, will be guided." 

71. He said, "He says, 'It is a cow neither 
trained to plow the earth nor to irrigate 
the field, one free from fault with no 
spot upon her.' " They said, "Now you 
have come with the truth." So they 
slaughtered her, but they could hardly 
doit. 

72. And [recall] when you slew a man and 
disputed 26 over it, but God was to bring 
out that which you were concealing. 

73. So We said, "Strike him [i.e., the slain 
man] with part of it." 27 Thus does God 
bring the dead to life, and He shows 
you His signs that you might reason. 

74. Then your hearts became hardened 
after that, being like stones or even 
harder. For indeed, there are stones 
from which rivers burst forth, and 
there are some of them that split open 
and water comes out, and there are 
some of them that fall down for fear of 



26 i.e., exchanged accusations and denials. 

27 i.e., the cow. Thereupon, God restored life to 
the man, who informed them of his murderer. 



God. And God is not unaware of what 
you do. 

75. Do you covet [the hope, O believers], 
that they would believe for you while a 
party of them used to hear the words of 
God and then distort it [i.e., the Torah] 
after they had understood it while they 
were knowing? 

76. And when they meet those who be- 
lieve, they say, "We have believed"; but 
when they are alone with one another, 
they say, "Do you talk to them about 
what God has revealed to you so they 
can argue with you about it before your 
Lord?" Then will you not reason? 

77. But do they not know that God knows 
what they conceal and what they dec- 
lare? 

78. And among them are unlettered ones 
who do not know the Scripture except 
[indulgement in] wishful thinking, but 
they are only assuming. 

79. So woe 28 to those who write the "scrip- 
ture" with their own hands, then say, 
"This is from God," in order to ex- 
change it for a small price. Woe to 
them for what their hands have written 
and woe to them for what they earn. 

80. And they say, "Never will the Fire 
touch us, except for [a few] numbered 
days." Say, "Have you taken a covenant 
with God? For God will never break 
His covenant. Or do you say about 
God that which you do not know?" 

81. Yes, [on the contrary], whoever earns 
evil and his sin has encompassed him - 
those are the companions of the Fire; 
they will abide therein eternally. 



28 i.e., death and destruction. 

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82. But they who believe and do righteous 
deeds — those are the companions of 
Paradise; they will abide therein eternal- 

83. And [recall] when We took the cove- 
nant from the Children of Israel, [en- 
joining upon them], "Do not worship 
except God; and to parents do good 
and to relatives, orphans, and the nee- 
dy. And speak to people good [words] 
and establish prayer and give zakah." 
Then you turned away, except a few of 
you, and you were refusing. 

84. And [recall] when We took your cove- 
nant, [saying], "Do not shed your [i.e., 
each other's] blood or evict one anoth- 
er from your homes." Then you ac- 
knowledged [this] while you were wit- 
nessing. 

85. Then, you are those [same ones who 
are] killing one another and evicting a 
party of your people from their homes, 
cooperating against them in sin and ag- 
gression. And if they come to you as 
captives, you ransom them, although 
their eviction was forbidden to you. So 
do you believe in part of the Scripture 
and disbelieve in part? Then what is the 
recompense for those who do that 
among you except disgrace in worldly 
life; and on the Day of Resurrection 
they will be sent back to the severest of 
punishment. And God is not unaware 
of what you do. 

86. Those are the ones who have bought 
the life of this world [in exchange] for 
the Hereafter, so the punishment will 
not be lightened for them, nor will they 
be aided. 

87. And We did certainly give Moses the 
scripture [i.e., the Torah] and followed 
up after him with messengers. And We 



gave Jesus, the son of Mary, clear 
proofs and supported him with the 
Pure Spirit [i.e., the angel Gabriel]. But 
is it [not] that every time a messenger 
came to you, [O Children of Israel], 
with what your souls did not desire, 
you were arrogant? And a party [of 
messengers] you denied and another 
party you killed. 

88. And they said, "Our hearts are 
wrapped." 29 But, [in fact], God has 
cursed them for their disbelief, so little 
is it that they believe. 

89. And when there came to them a Book 
[i.e., the Qur'an] from God confirming 
that which was with them - although 
before they used to pray for victory 
against those who disbelieved - but 
[then] when there came to them that 
which they recognized, they disbelieved 
in it; so the curse of God will be upon 
the disbelievers. 

90. How wretched is that for which they 
sold themselves - that they would dis- 
believe in what God has revealed 
through [their] outrage that God would 
send down His favor upon whom He 
wills from among His servants. So they 
returned having [earned] wrath upon 
wrath. And for the disbelievers is a 
humiliating punishment. 

91. And when it is said to them, "Believe in 
what God has revealed," they say, "We 
believe [only] in what was revealed to 
us." And they disbelieve in what came 
after it, while it is the truth confirming 
that which is with them. Say, "Then 
why did you kill the prophets of God 
before, if you are [indeed] believers?" 



29 Covered or sealed against reception of God's 
word. 

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92. And Moses had certainly brought you 
clear proofs. Then you took the calf [in 
worship] after that, while you were 
wrongdoers. 

93. And [recall] when We took your cove- 
nant and raised over you the mount, 
[saying], "Take what We have given you 
with determination and listen." They 
said [instead], "We hear and disobey." 
And their hearts absorbed [the worship 
of] the calf because of their disbelief. 
Say, "How wretched is that which your 
faith enjoins upon you, if you should be 
believers." 

94. Say, [O Muhammad], "If the home of 
the Hereafter with God is for you alone 
and not the [other] people, then wish 
for death, if you should be truthful." 

95. But they will never wish for it, ever, 
because of what their hands have put 
forth. And God is Knowing of the 
wrongdoers. 

96. And you will surely find them the most 
greedy of people for life - [even] more 
than those who associate others with 
God. One of them wishes that he could 
be granted life a thousand years, but it 
would not remove him in the least 
from the [coming] punishment that he 
should be granted life. And God is See- 
ing of what they do. 

97. Say, "Whoever is an enemy to Gabriel - 
it is [none but] he who has brought it 
[i.e., the Qur'an] down upon your heart, 
[O Muhammad], by permission of 
God, confirming that which was before 
it and as guidance and good tidings for 
the believers." 

98. Whoever is an enemy to God and His 
angels and His messengers and Gabriel 



and Michael - then indeed, God is an 
enemy to the disbelievers. 

99. And We have certainly revealed to you 
verses [which are] clear proofs, and no 
one would deny them except the de- 
fiantly disobedient. 

1 00. Is it not [true] that every time they took 
a covenant a party of them threw it 
away? But, [in fact], most of them do 
not believe. 

101. And when a messenger from God 
came to them confirming that which 
was with them, a party of those who 
had been given the Scripture threw the 
Scripture of God [i.e., the Torah] be- 
hind their backs as if they did not know 
[what it contained] . 

102. And they followed [instead] what the 
devils had recited during the reign of 
Solomon. It was not Solomon who dis- 
believed, but the devils disbelieved, 
teaching people magic and that which 
was revealed to the two angels at Baby- 
lon, Harut and Marut. But they [i.e., the 
two angels] do not teach anyone unless 
they say, "We are a trial, so do not dis- 
believe [by practicing magic]." 30 And 
[yet] they learn from them that by 
which they cause separation between a 
man and his wife. But they do not harm 
anyone through it except by permission 
of God. And they [i.e., the people] learn 
what harms them and does not benefit 
them. But they [i.e., the Children of 
Israel] certainly knew that whoever 
purchased it [i.e., magic] would not 
have in the Hereafter any share. And 
wretched is that for which they sold 
themselves, if they only knew. 



30 They warn people against the misuse of what 
they have learned. 



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103. And if they had believed and feared 
God, then the reward from God would 
have been [far] better, if they only 
knew. 

104. O you who have believed, say not [to 
God's Messenger], "Ra'ina" but say, 
"Unthurna" 31 and listen. And for the 
disbelievers is a painful punishment. 

105. Neither those who disbelieve from the 
People of the Scripture [i.e., the Jews 
and Christians] nor the polytheists wish 
that any good should be sent down to 
you from your Lord. But God selects 
for His mercy whom He wills, and God 
is the possessor of great bounty. 

106. We do not abrogate a verse or cause it 
to be forgotten except that We bring 
forth [one] better than it or similar to it. 
Do you not know that God is over all 
things competent? 

107. Do you not know that to God belongs 
the dominion of the heavens and the 
earth and [that] you have not besides 
God any protector or any helper? 

108. Or do you intend to ask 32 your Mes- 
senger as Moses was asked before? And 
whoever exchanges faith for disbelief 
has certainly strayed from the sound- 
ness of the way. 

109. Many of the People of the Scripture 
wish they could turn you back to disbe- 

31 The word "rd'ind" in Arabic literally means 
"consider us," i.e., give us time to hear you and 
listen to us. The Jews used to use the same word 
with the meaning of an insult. Therefore, the 
believers were ordered to avoid this expression 
and use instead the word "itnthurnd" i.e., "wait 
for us [so that we may understand]." 

32 i.e., persistently question or, as in the case of 
the disbelievers, demand a miracle of the Proph- 
et. 



lief after you have believed, out of envy 
from themselves [even] after the truth 
has become clear to them. So pardon 
and overlook until God delivers His 
command. Indeed, God is over all 
things competent. 

110. And establish prayer and give 2akah, 
and whatever good you put forward for 
yourselves - you will find it with God. 
Indeed God, of what you do, is Seeing. 

111. And they say, "None will enter Paradise 
except one who is a Jew or a Chris- 
tian." That is [merely] their wishful 
thinking. Say, "Produce your proof, if 
you should be truthful." 

112. Yes, [on the contrary], whoever sub- 
mits his face [i.e., self] in Islam to God 
while being a doer of good will have his 
reward with his Lord. And no fear will 
there be concerning them, nor will they 
grieve. 

113. The Jews say, "The Christians have 
nothing [true] to stand on," and the 
Christians say, "The Jews have nothing 
to stand on," although they [both] re- 
cite the Scripture. Thus do those who 
know not [i.e., the polytheists] speak 
the same as their words. But God will 
judge between them on the Day of Re- 
surrection concerning that over which 
they used to differ. 

114. And who are more unjust than those 
who prevent the name of God from 
being mentioned [i.e., praised] in His 
mosques and strive toward their de- 
struction. It is not for them to enter 
them except in fear. For them in this 
world is disgrace, and they will have in 
the Hereafter a great punishment. 

115. And to God belongs the east and the 
west. So wherever you [might] turn, 



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there is the Face 33 of God. Indeed, God 
is all-Encompassing and Knowing. 

116. They say, "God has taken a son." Ex- 
alted is He! 34 Rather, to Him belongs 
whatever is in the heavens and the 
earth. All are devoutly obedient to Him, 

117. Originator of the heavens and the 
earth. When He decrees a matter, He 
only says to it, "Be," and it is. 

118. Those who do not know say, "Why 
does God not speak to us or there 
come to us a sign?" Thus spoke those 
before them like their words. Their 
hearts resemble each other. We have 
shown clearly the signs to a people who 
are certain [in faith] . 

119. Indeed, We have sent you, [O Mu- 
hammad], with the truth as a bringer of 
good tidings and a warner, and you will 
not be asked about the companions of 
Hellfire. 

120. And never will the Jews and the Chris- 
tians approve of you until you follow 
their religion. Say, "Indeed, the guid- 
ance of God is the [only] guidance." If 
you were to follow their desires after 
what has come to you of knowledge, 
you would have against God no protec- 
tor or helper. 

121. Those to whom We have given the 
Book recite it with its true recital. 35 
They [are the ones who] believe in it. 
And whoever disbelieves in it - it is 
they who are the losers. 

122. O Children of Israel, remember My 
favor which I have bestowed upon you 

33 See footnote to 2:19. 

34 Subhdnahu means "far exalted is He above all 
they falsely attribute to Him." 

35 i.e., applying its teachings to their lives. 



and that I preferred you over the 
worlds. 

123. And fear a Day when no soul will suf- 
fice for another soul 36 at all, and no 
compensation will be accepted from it, 
nor will any intercession benefit it, nor 
will they be aided. 

124. And [mention, O Muhammad], when 
Abraham was tried by his Lord with 
words [i.e., commands] and he fulfilled 
them. [God] said, "Indeed, I will make 
you a leader for the people." [Abraham] 
said, "And of my descendants?" [God] 
said, "My covenant does not include 
the wrongdoers." 

125. And [mention] when We made the 
House [i.e., the Ka'bah] a place of re- 
turn for the people and [a place of] se- 
curity. And take, [O believers], from 
the standing place of Abraham a place 
of prayer. And We charged Abraham 
and Ishmael, [saying], "Purify My 
House for those who perform tawaf 37 
and those who are staying [there] for 
worship and those who bow and pro- 
strate [in prayer]." 

126. And [mention] when Abraham said, 
"My Lord, make this a secure city and 
provide its people with fruits - whoever 
of them believes in God and the Last 
Day." [God] said. "And whoever disbe- 
lieves - 1 will grant him enjoyment for a 
litde; then I will force him to the pu- 
nishment of the Fire, and wretched is 
the destination." 

127. And [mention] when Abraham was 
raising the foundations of the House 
and [with him] Ishmael, [saying], "Our 



36 See footnote to 2:48. 

37 A form of worship particular to the Ka'bah 
consisting of going around it in circuits. 



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Lord, accept [this] from us. Indeed, 
You are the Hearing, the Knowing. 

128. Our Lord, and make us Muslims [in 
submission] to You and from our des- 
cendants a Muslim nation [in submis- 
sion] to You. And show us our rites [of 
hajj and 'umrah] and accept our repen- 
tance. Indeed, You are the Accepting of 
repentance, the Merciful. 

129. Our Lord, and send among them a 
messenger from themselves who will 
recite to them Your verses and teach 
them the Book and wisdom and purify 
them. Indeed, You are the Exalted in 
Mght, the Wise." 

130. And who would be averse to the reli- 
gion of Abraham except one who 
makes a fool of himself. And We had 
chosen him in this world, and indeed 
he, in the Hereafter, will be among the 
righteous. 

131. When his Lord said to him, "Submit," 
he said, "I have submitted [in Islam] 38 
to the Lord of the worlds." 

132. And Abraham instructed his sons [to 
do the same] and [so did] Jacob, [say- 
ing], "O my sons, indeed God has cho- 
sen for you this religion, so do not die 
except while you are Muslims." 

133. Or were you witnesses when death ap- 
proached Jacob, when he said to his 
sons, "What will you worship after 
me?" They said, "We will worship your 
God and the God of your fathers, Ab- 
raham and Ishmael and Isaac - one 



God. 39 And we are Muslims [in submis- 
sion] to Him." 

134. That was a nation which has passed on. 
It will have [the consequence of] what 
it earned, and you will have what you 
have earned. And you will not be asked 
about what they used to do. 

135. They say, "Be Jews or Christians [so] 
you will be guided." Say, "Rather, [we 
follow] the religion of Abraham, inclin- 
ing toward truth, and he was not of the 

polytheists." 40 

136. Say, [O believers], "We have believed in 
God and what has been revealed to us 
and what has been revealed to Abra- 
ham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob 
and the Descendants [al-Asbat] 41 and 
what was given to Moses and Jesus and 
what was given to the prophets from 
their Lord. We make no distinction be- 
tween any of them, and we are Muslims 
[in submission] to Him." 

137. So if they believe in the same as you 
believe in, then they have been [rightly] 
guided; but if they turn away, they are 
only in dissension, and God will be suf- 
ficient for you against them. And He is 
the Hearing, the Knowing. 

138. [And say, "Ours is] the religion of God. 
And who is better than God in [ordain- 
ing] religion? And we are worshippers 
of Him." 

139. Say, [O Muhammad], "Do you argue 
with us about God while He is our 
Lord and your Lord? For us are our 
deeds, and for you are your deeds. And 



38 The meaning of the word "Islam" is "submis- 
sion to the will of God." This is the way of life 
ordained by God and taught by all of the proph- 
ets from Adam to Muhammad. A Muslim is one 
who submits himself to God. 



39 God alone. 

40 Those who associate others with God in wor- 
ship. 

41 The twelve tribes of Israel descended from 
Jacob. 



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we are sincere [in deed and intention] 
to Him." 

140. Or do you say that Abraham and Ish- 
mael and Isaac and Jacob and the Des- 
cendants were Jews or Christians? Say, 
"Are you more knowing or is God?" 
And who is more unjust than one who 
conceals a testimony 42 he has from 
God? And God is not unaware of what 
you do. 

141. That is a nation which has passed on. It 
will have [the consequence of] what it 
earned, and you will have what you 
have earned. And you will not be asked 
about what they used to do. 

142. The foolish among the people will say, 
"What has turned them away from 
their qiblah, 43 which they used to 
face?" 44 Say, "To God belongs the east 
and the west. He guides whom He wills 
to a straight path." 

143. And thus We have made you a median 
[i.e., just] community that you will be 
witnesses over the people and the Mes- 
senger will be a witness over you. And 
We did not make the qiblah which you 
used to face except that We might 
make evident who would follow the 
Messenger from who would turn back 
on his heels. And indeed, it is difficult 
except for those whom God has 
guided. And never would God have 
caused you to lose your faith [i.e., your 



42 Statements in previous scriptures attesting to 
the nature of God's religion (Islam) and the com- 
ing of Prophet Muhammad. 

43 The direction faced in prayer. 

44 Prior to the command (in verse 144) that the 
Prophet and his followers turn toward the Ka'bdh 
in Makkah for prayer, they had been facing Jeru- 
salem to the north. The implications of this 
change are mentioned in succeeding verses. 



previous prayers]. Indeed God is, to the 
people, Kind and Merciful. 

144. We have certainly seen the turning of 
your face, [O Muhammad], toward the 
heaven, and We will surely turn you to 
a qiblah with which you will be pleased. 
So turn your face [i.e., yourself] toward 
al-Masjid al-Haram. 45 And wherever 
you [believers] are, turn your faces [i.e., 
yourselves] toward it [in prayer]. In- 
deed, those who have been given the 
Scripture [i.e., the Jews and the Chris- 
tians] well know that it is the truth from 
their Lord. And God is not unaware of 
what they do. 

145. And if you brought to those who were 
given the Scripture every sign, they 
would not follow your qiblah. Nor will 
you be a follower of their qiblah. Nor 
would they be followers of one anoth- 
er's qiblah. So if you were to follow 
their desires after what has come to you 
of knowledge, indeed, you would then 
be among the wrongdoers. 

146. Those to whom We gave the Scripture 
know him [i.e., Prophet Muhammad] as 
they know their own sons. But indeed, 
a party of them conceal the truth while 
they know [it] . 

147. The truth is from your Lord, so never 
be among the doubters. 

148. For each [religious following] is a 
[prayer] direction toward which it faces. 
So race to [all that is] good. Wherever 
you may be, God will bring you forth 
[for judgement] all together. Indeed, 
God is over all things competent. 



45 The Sacred Mosque in Makkah containing the 
Ka'bdh. 



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149. So from wherever you go out [for 
prayer, O Muhammad], turn your face 
toward al-Masjid al-Haram, and indeed, 
it is the truth from your Lord. And 
God is not unaware of what you do. 

150. And from wherever you go out [for 
prayer], turn your face toward al-Masjid 
al-Haram. And wherever you [believers] 
may be, turn your faces toward it in or- 
der that the people will not have any 
argument against you, except for those 
of them who commit wrong; so fear 
them not but fear Me. And [it is] so I 
may complete My favor upon you and 
that you may be guided, 

151. Just as We have sent among you a mes- 
senger from yourselves reciting to you 
Our verses and purifying you and 
teaching you the Book and wisdom 46 
and teaching you that which you did 
not know. 

152. So remember Me; I will remember you. 
And be grateful to Me and do not deny 
Me. 

153. O you who have believed, seek help 
through patience and prayer. Indeed, 
God is with the patient. 

154. And do not say about those who are 
killed in the way of God, "They are 
dead." Rather, they are alive, but you 
perceive [it] not. 

155. And We will surely test you with some- 
thing of fear and hunger and a loss of 
wealth and lives and fruits, but give 
good tidings to the patient, 



156. Who, when disaster strikes them, say, 
"Indeed we belong to God, and indeed 
to Him we will return." 

157. Those are the ones upon whom are 
blessings from their Lord and mercy. 
And it is those who are the [righdy] 
guided. 

158. Indeed, as-Safa and al-Marwah are 
among the symbols 47 of God. So 
whoever makes hajj [pilgrimage] to the 
House or performs 'umrah - there is no 
blame upon him for walking between 
them. 48 And whoever volunteers good - 
then indeed, God is Appreciative and 
Knowing. 

159. Indeed, those who conceal what We 
sent down of clear proofs and guidance 
after We made it clear for the people in 
the Scripture - those are cursed by God 
and cursed by those who curse, 49 

160. Except for those who repent and cor- 
rect themselves and make evident [what 
they concealed]. Those - I will accept 
their repentance, and I am the Accept- 
ing of repentance, the Merciful. 

161. Indeed, those who disbelieve and die 
while they are disbelievers - upon them 
will be the curse of God and of the an- 
gels and the people, all together, 

162. Abiding eternally therein. The punish- 
ment will not be lightened for them, 
nor will they be reprieved. 

163. And your god is one God. There is no 
deity [worthy of worship] except Him, 



46 The wisdom taught by the Prophet is his sun- 

nah. 



47 Places designed for the rites of hajj and 'umrah. 

48 Some believers had previously feared that this 
might be a pagan practice, so God confirms that 
sa'i'is among the rites of His religion. 

49 From among the angels and the believers. 



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the Entirely Merciful, the Especially 
Merciful. 



not follow the footsteps of Satan. In- 
deed, he is to you a clear enemy. 



164. Indeed, in the creation of the heavens 
and the earth, and the alternation of the 
night and the day, and the [great] ships 
which sail through the sea with that 
which benefits people, and what God 
has sent down from the heavens of 
rain, giving life thereby to the earth af- 
ter its lifelessness and dispersing therein 
every [kind of] moving creature, and 
[His] directing of the winds and the 
clouds controlled between the heaven 
and earth are signs for a people who 
use reason. 

165. And [yet], among the people are those 
who take other than God as equals [to 
Him], They love them as they [should] 
love God. But those who believe are 
stronger in love for God. And if only 
they who have wronged would consider 
[that] when they see the punishment, 
[they will be certain] that all power be- 
longs to God and that God is severe in 
punishment. 

166. [And they should consider that] when 
those who have been followed disasso- 
ciate themselves from those who fol- 
lowed [them], and they [all] see the pu- 
nishment, and cut off from them are 
the ties [of relationship], 

167. Those who followed will say, "If only 
we had another turn [at worldly life] so 
we could disassociate ourselves from 
them as they have disassociated them- 
selves from us." Thus will God show 
them their deeds as regrets upon them. 
And they are never to emerge from the 
Fire. 

168. O mankind, eat from whatever is on 
earth [that is] lawful and good and do 



169. He only orders you to evil and immo- 
rality and to say about God what you 
do not know. 

170. And when it is said to them, "Follow 
what God has revealed," they say, "Ra- 
ther, we will follow that which we 
found our fathers doing." Even though 
their fathers understood nothing, nor 
were they guided? 

171. The example of those who disbelieve is 
like that of one who shouts at what 
hears nothing but calls and cries [i.e., 
catde or sheep] - deaf, dumb and blind, 
so they do not understand. 

172. O you who have believed, eat from the 
good [i.e., lawful] things which We have 
provided for you and be grateful to 
God if it is [indeed] Him that you wor- 
ship. 

173. He has only forbidden to you dead an- 
imals, 50 blood, the flesh of swine, and 
that which has been dedicated to other 
than God. But whoever is forced [by 
necessity], neither desiring [it] nor 
transgressing [its limit], there is no sin 
upon him. Indeed, God is Forgiving 
and Merciful. 

174. Indeed, they who conceal what God 
has sent down of the Book and ex- 
change it for a small price - those con- 
sume not into their bellies except the 
Fire. And God will not speak to them 
on the Day of Resurrection, nor will He 
purify them. And they will have a pain- 
ful punishment. 



50 Those not slaughtered or hunted expressly for 
food. 



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175. Those are the ones who have ex- 
changed guidance for error and for- 
giveness for punishment. How patient 
they are for [i.e., in pursuit of] the Fire! 

176. That is [deserved by them] because 
God has sent down the Book in truth. 
And indeed, those who differ over the 
Book are in extreme dissension. 

177. Righteousness is not that you turn your 
faces toward the east or the west, but 
[true] righteousness is [in] one who be- 
lieves in God, the Last Day, the angels, 
the Book, and the prophets and gives 
wealth, in spite of love for it, to rela- 
tives, orphans, the needy, the traveler, 
those who ask [for help], and for free- 
ing slaves; [and who] establishes prayer 
and gives zakah; [those who] fulfill their 
promise when they promise; and [those 
who] are patient in poverty and hard- 
ship and during batde. Those are the 
ones who have been true, and it is 
those who are the righteous. 

178. O you who have believed, prescribed 
for you is legal retribution for those 
murdered - the free for the free, the 
slave for the slave, and the female for 
the female. 51 But whoever overlooks 
from his brother [i.e., the killer] any- 
thing, 52 then there should be a suitable 
follow-up and payment to him [i.e., the 
deceased's heir or legal representative] 
with good conduct. This is an allevia- 
tion from your Lord and a mercy. But 
whoever transgresses after that 53 will 
have a painful punishment. 

179. And there is for you in legal retribution 
[saving of] life, O you [people] of un- 

51 No one else should be executed in place of the 
killer. 

52 By accepting compensation payment rather 
than execution. 

53 After acceptance of compensation. 



derstanding, that you may become righ- 
teous. 

180. Prescribed for you when death ap- 
proaches [any] one of you if he leaves 
wealth [is that he should make] a be- 
quest for the parents and near relatives 
according to what is acceptable - a duty 
upon the righteous. 54 

181. Then whoever alters it [i.e., the be- 
quest] after he has heard it - the sin is 
only upon those who have altered it. 
Indeed, God is Hearing and Knowing. 

182. But if one fears from the bequeather 
[some] error or sin and corrects that 
which is between them [i.e., the con- 
cerned parties], there is no sin upon 
him. Indeed, God is Forgiving and 
Merciful. 

183. O you who have believed, decreed 
upon you is fasting as it was decreed 
upon those before you that you may 
become righteous - 

184. [Fasting for] a limited number of days. 
So whoever among you is ill or on a 
journey [during them] - then an equal 
number of days [are to be made up]. 
And upon those who are able [to fast, 
but with hardship] - a ransom [as subs- 
titute] of feeding a poor person [each 
day]. And whoever volunteers good 
[i.e., excess] - it is better for him. But to 
fast is best for you, if you only knew. 

185. The month of Ramadhan [is that] in 
which was revealed the Qur'an, a guid- 
ance for the people and clear proofs of 
guidance and criterion. So whoever 

54 This ruling was abrogated by the revelation in 
Surah an-Nisd' stipulating obligatory shares for 
parents and close relatives. Those who do not 
inherit by law may be remembered in a bequest. 
See 4:11-12. 
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sights [the new moon of] the month, 55 
let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a 
journey - then an equal number of oth- 
er days. God intends for you ease and 
does not intend for you hardship and 
[wants] for you to complete the period 
and to glorify God for that [to] which 
He has guided you; and perhaps you 
will be grateful. 

186. And when My servants ask you, [O 
Muhammad], concerning Me - indeed I 
am near. I respond to the invocation of 
the supplicant when he calls upon Me. 
So let them respond to Me [by ob- 
edience] and believe in Me that they 
may be [rightly] guided. 

187. It has been made permissible for you 
the night preceding fasting to go to 
your wives [for sexual relations]. They 
are clothing for you and you are cloth- 
ing for them. God knows that you used 
to deceive yourselves, 36 so He accepted 
your repentance and forgave you. So 
now, have relations with them and seek 
that which God has decreed for you 
[i.e., offspring]. And eat and drink until 
the white thread of dawn becomes dis- 
tinct to you from the black thread [of 
night]. Then complete the fast until the 
night [i.e., sunset]. And do not have re- 
lations with them as long as you are 
staying for worship in the mosques. 
These are the limits [set by] God, so do 
not approach them. Thus does God 
make clear His verses [i.e., ordinances] 
to the people that they may become 
righteous. 

188. And do not consume one another's 
wealth unjustly or send it [in bribery] to 



55 Also, "whoever is present during the month." 

56 Prior to this revelation, marital relations were 
unlawful during nights preceding fasting. Some 
were unable to refrain and secretly disobeyed, but 
they did not deceive God. 



the rulers in order that [they might aid] 
you [to] consume a portion of the 
wealth of the people in sin, while you 
know [it is unlawful] . 

189. They ask you, [O Muhammad], about 
the new moons. Say, "They are mea- 
surements of time for the people and 
for hajj [pilgrimage]." And it is not 
righteousness to enter houses from the 
back, but righteousness is [in] one who 
fears God. And enter houses from their 
doors. And fear God that you may suc- 
ceed. 

190. Fight in the way of God those who 
fight you but do not transgress. Indeed, 
God does not like transgressors. 

191. And kill them wherever you overtake 
them and expel them from wherever 
they have expelled you, and fitnah 57 is 
worse than killing. And do not fight 
them at al-Masjid al-Haram until they 
fight you there. But if they fight you, 
then kill them. Such is the recompense 
of the disbelievers. 

192. And if they cease, then indeed, God is 
Forgiving and Merciful. 

193. Fight them until there is no [more] fit- 
nah 58 and [until] religion [i.e., worship] 
is [acknowledged to be] for God. But if 
they cease, then there is to be no ag- 
gression [i.e., assault] except against the 
oppressors. 

194. [Fighting in] the sacred month is for 
[aggression committed in] the sacred 
month, 59 and for [all] violations is legal 

"Disbelief and its imposition on others. 

58 Among the meanings of fitnah are disbelief, 
discord, dissension, civil strife, persecution, op- 
pression, injustice, seduction, trial and torment. 

59 The sacred months are Dhul-Qa'dah, Dhul- 
Hijjah, Muharram and Rajab. 



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retribution. So whoever has assaulted 
you, then assault him in the same way 
that he has assaulted you. And fear 
God and know that God is with those 
who fear Him. 

195. And spend in the way of God and do 
not throw [yourselves] with your [own] 
hands into destruction [by refraining]. 
And do good; indeed, God loves the 
doers of good. 

196. And complete the hajj and 'umrah for 
God. But if you are prevented, then 
[offer] what can be obtained with ease 
of sacrificial animals. And do not shave 
your heads until the sacrificial animal 
has reached its place of slaughter. And 
whoever among you is ill or has an ail- 
ment of the head [making shaving ne- 
cessary must offer] a ransom of fasting 
[three days] or charity 60 or sacrifice. 61 
And when you are secure, 62 then 
whoever performs 'umrah [during the 
hajj months] 63 followed by hajj [offers] 
what can be obtained with ease of sa- 
crificial animals. And whoever cannot 
find [or afford such an animal] - then a 
fast of three days during hajj and of 
seven when you have returned [home]. 
Those are ten complete [days]. This is 
for those whose family is not in the 
area of al-Masjid al-Haram. And fear 
God and know that God is severe in 
penalty. 

197. Hajj is [during] well-known months, 64 
so whoever has made hajj obligatory 
upon himself therein [by entering the 
state of ihram] , there is [to be for him] 

60 Feeding six needy persons. 

61 The slaughter of a sheep or goat. 

62 Under normal conditions, i.e., are not pre- 
vented. 

63 The months of Shawwal, Dhul-Qa'dah and 
Dhul-Hijjah. 

64 See previous footnote. 



no sexual relations and no disobedience 
and no disputing during hajj. And 
whatever good you do - God knows it. 
And take provisions, but indeed, the 
best provision is fear of God. And fear 
Me, O you of understanding. 

198. There is no blame upon you for seeking 
bounty 65 from your Lord [during hajj]. 
But when you depart from Arafat, re- 
member God at al-Masha'ar al- 
Haram. 66 And remember Him, as He 
has guided you, for indeed, you were 
before that among those astray. 

199. Then depart from the place from where 
[all] the people depart and ask forgive- 
ness of God. Indeed, God is Forgiving 
and Merciful. 

200. And when you have completed your 
rites, remember God like your [pre- 
vious] remembrance of your fathers or 
with [much] greater remembrance. And 
among the people is he who says, "Our 
Lord, give us in this world," and he will 
have in the Hereafter no share. 

201. But among them is he who says, "Our 
Lord, give us in this world [that which 
is] good and in the Hereafter [that 
which is] good and protect us from the 
punishment of the Fire." 

202. Those will have a share of what they 
have earned, and God is swift in ac- 
count. 

203. And remember God during [specific] 
numbered days. Then whoever hastens 
[his departure] in two days - there is no 
sin upon him; and whoever delays [until 
the third] - there is no sin upon him - 
for him who fears God. And fear God 



65 i.e., profit from trade or business. 

66 Which is in Muzdalifah. 

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and know that unto Him you will be 
gathered. 

204. And of the people is he whose speech 
pleases you in worldly life, and he calls 
God to witness as to what is in his 
heart, yet he is the fiercest of oppo- 
nents. 

205. And when he goes away, he strives 
throughout the land to cause corrup- 
tion therein and destroy crops and an- 
imals. And God does not like corrup- 
tion. 

206. And when it is said to him, "Fear 
God," pride in the sin takes hold of 
him. Sufficient for him is Hellfire, and 
how wretched is the resting place. 

207. And of the people is he who sells him- 
self, seeking means to the approval of 
God. And God is kind to [His] ser- 
vants. 

208. O you who have believed, enter into 
Islam completely [and perfectly] and do 
not follow the footsteps of Satan. In- 
deed, he is to you a clear enemy. 

209. But if you slip [i.e., deviate] after clear 
proofs have come to you, then know 
that God is Exalted in Might and Wise. 

210. Do they await but that God should 
come to them in covers of clouds and 
the angels [as well] and the matter is 
[then] decided? And to God [all] mat- 
ters are returned. 

211. Ask the Children of Israel how many a 
sign of evidence We have given them. 
And whoever exchanges the favor of 
God [for disbelief] after it has come to 
him - then indeed, God is severe in pe- 
nalty. 



212. Beautified for those who disbelieve is 
the life of this world, and they ridicule 
those who believe. But those who fear 
God are above them on the Day of Re- 
surrection. And God gives provision to 
whom He wills without account. 

213. Mankind was [of] one religion [before 
their deviation]; then God sent the 
prophets as bringers of good tidings 
and warners and sent down with them 
the Scripture in truth to judge between 
the people concerning that in which 
they differed. And none differed over it 
[i.e., the Scripture] except those who 
were given it - after the clear proofs 
came to them - out of jealous animosity 
among themselves. And God guided 
those who believed to the truth con- 
cerning that over which they had dif- 
fered, by His permission. And God 
guides whom He wills to a straight 
path. 

214. Or do you think that you will enter Pa- 
radise while such [trial] has not yet 
come to you as came to those who 
passed on before you? They were 
touched by poverty and hardship and 
were shaken until [even their] messen- 
ger and those who believed with him 
said, "When is the help of God?" Un- 
questionably, the help of God is near. 

215. They ask you, [O Muhammad], what 
they should spend. Say, "Whatever you 
spend of good is [to be] for parents and 
relatives and orphans and the needy 
and the traveler. And whatever you do 
of good - indeed, God is Knowing of 
it." 

216. Fighting has been enjoined upon you 
while it is hateful to you. But perhaps 
you hate a thing and it is good for you; 
and perhaps you love a thing and it is 



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bad for you. And God knows, while 
you know not. 

217. They ask you about the sacred month 67 
- about fighting therein. Say, "Fighting 
therein is great [sin], but averting 
[people] from the way of God and dis- 
belief in Him and [preventing access to] 
al-Masjid al-Haram and the expulsion 
of its people therefrom are greater [evil] 
in the sight of God. And fitnah 68 is 
greater than killing." And they will con- 
tinue to fight you until they turn you 
back from your religion if they are able. 
And whoever of you reverts from his 
religion [to disbelief] and dies while he 
is a disbeliever - for those, their deeds 
have become worthless in this world 
and the Hereafter, and those are the 
companions of the Fire; they will abide 
therein eternally. 

218. Indeed, those who have believed and 
those who have emigrated and fought 
in the cause of God - those expect the 
mercy of God. And God is Forgiving 
and Merciful. 

219. They ask you about wine 69 and gam- 
bling. Say, "In them is great sin and 
[yet, some] benefit for people. But their 
sin is greater than their benefit." And 
they ask you what they should spend. 
Say, "The excess [beyond needs]." Thus 
God makes clear to you the verses [of 
revelation] that you might give thought 

220. To this world and the Hereafter. And 
they ask you about orphans. Say, "Im- 
provement for them is best. And if you 
mix your affairs with theirs - they are 
your brothers. And God knows the 
corrupter from the amender. And if 

67 See footnote to 2:194. 

68 See footnote to 2:193. 

69 The word "kharm*' (wine) includes all intox- 
icants. The final prohibition is given in 5:90-91. 



God had willed, He could have put you 
in difficulty. Indeed, God is Exalted in 
Might and Wise." 

221. And do not marry polytheistic women 
until they believe. 70 And a believing 
slave woman is better than a polytheist, 
even though she might please you. And 
do not marry polytheistic men [to your 
women] until they believe. And a be- 
lieving slave is better than a polytheist, 
even though he might please you. 
Those invite [you] to the Fire, but God 
invites to Paradise and to forgiveness, 
by His permission. And He makes clear 
His verses [i.e., ordinances] to the 
people that perhaps they may remem- 
ber. 

222. And they ask you about menstruation. 
Say, "It is harm, so keep away from 
wives 71 during menstruation. And do 
not approach them until they are pure. 
And when they have purified them- 
selves, 72 then come to them from 
where God has ordained for you. In- 
deed, God loves those who are con- 
stantly repentant and loves those who 
purify themselves." 

223. Your wives are a place of cultivation 
[i.e., sowing of seed] for you, so come 
to your place of cultivation however 
you wish and put forth [righteousness] 
for yourselves. And fear God and know 
that you will meet Him. And give good 
tidings to the believers. 

224. And do not make [your oath by] God 
an excuse against being righteous and 
fearing God and making peace among 
people. And God is Hearing and 
Knowing. 



1 i.e., worship and obey God alone. 



i.e., refrain from sexual intercourse. 
: By taking a complete bath (ghusl). 



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225. God does not impose blame upon you 
for what is unintentional in your oaths, 
but He imposes blame upon you for 
what your hearts have earned. And 
God is Forgiving and Forbearing. 

226. For those who swear not to have sexual 
relations with their wives 73 is a waiting 
time of four months, but if they return 
[to normal relations] - then indeed, 
God is Forgiving and Merciful. 

227. And if they decide on divorce - then 
indeed, God is Hearing and Knowing. 

228. Divorced women remain in waiting 
[i.e., do not remarry] for three pe- 
riods, 74 and it is not lawful for them to 
conceal what God has created in their 
wombs if they believe in God and the 
Last Day. And their husbands have 
more right to take them back in this 
[period] if they want reconciliation. 75 
And due to them [i.e., the wives] is sim- 
ilar to what is expected of them, ac- 
cording to what is reasonable. 76 But the 
men [i.e., husbands] have a degree over 
them [in responsibility and authority]. 
And God is Exalted in Might and Wise. 

229. Divorce is twice. Then [after that], ei- 
ther keep [her] in an acceptable manner 
or release [her] with good treatment. 
And it is not lawful for you to take any- 
thing of what you have given them un- 
less both fear that they will not be able 



73 Without divorcing them. By such an oath the 
women is deprived of her right in marriage but is 
not free to marry another. She may not be kept in 
such a condition beyond the four-month limit. 

74 Either menstrual periods or periods of purity 
between menstruation. See also 65:1-7. 

75 The husband may return her to himself during 
the 'iddah period of a first and second divorce 
without a new marriage contract. 

76 The wife has specific rights upon her husband, 
just as the husband has rights upon her. 



to keep [within] the limits of God. 77 
But if you fear that they will not keep 
[within] the limits of God, then there is 
no blame upon either of them concern- 
ing that by which she ransoms herself. 
These are the limits of God, so do not 
transgress them. And whoever trans- 
gresses the limits of God - it is those 
who are the wrongdoers [i.e., the un- 
just], 

230. And if he has divorced her [for the 
third time], then she is not lawful to 
him afterward until [after] she marries a 
husband other than him. 78 And if he 
[i.e., the latter husband] divorces her [or 
dies], there is no blame upon them [i.e., 
the woman and her former husband] 
for returning to each other if they think 
that they can keep [within] the limits of 
God. These are the limits of God, 
which He makes clear to a people who 
know [i.e., understand]. 

231. And when you divorce women and 
they have [nearly] fulfilled their term, 
either retain them according to accept- 
able terms or release them according to 
acceptable terms, and do not keep 
them, intending harm, to transgress 
[against them]. And whoever does that 
has certainly wronged himself. And do 
not take the verses of God in jest. And 
remember the favor of God upon you 
and what has been revealed to you of 
the Book [i.e., the Qur'an] and wisdom 
[i.e., the Prophet's sunnah] by which 
He instructs you. And fear God and 
know that God is Knowing of all 
things. 

232. And when you divorce women" and 
they have fulfilled their term, do not 

77 i.e., deal fairly with each other. 

78 With the intention of permanence, not merely 
in order to return to the previous husband. 

79 For the first or second time. 



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prevent them from remarrying their 
[former] husbands if they [i.e., all par- 
ties] agree among themselves on an ac- 
ceptable basis. That is instructed to 
whoever of you believes in God and 
the Last Day. That is better for you and 
purer, and God knows and you know 
not. 

233. Mothers may nurse [i.e., breastfeed] 
their children two complete years for 
whoever wishes to complete the nurs- 
ing [period]. Upon the father is their 
[i.e., the mothers'] provision and their 
clothing according to what is accepta- 
ble. No person is charged with more 
than his capacity. No mother should be 
harmed through her child, and no fa- 
ther through his child. And upon the 
[father's] heir is [a duty] like that [of the 
father] . And if they both desire weaning 
through mutual consent from both of 
them and consultation, there is no 
blame upon either of them. And if you 
wish to have your children nursed by a 
substitute, there is no blame upon you 
as long as you give payment according 
to what is acceptable. And fear God 
and know that God is Seeing of what 
you do. 

234. And those who are taken in death 
among you and leave wives behind - 
they, [the wives, shall] wait four months 
and ten [days] . And when they have ful- 
filled their term, then there is no blame 
upon you for what they do with them- 
selves in an acceptable manner. 80 And 
God is [fully] Acquainted with what 
you do. 

235. There is no blame upon you for that to 
which you [indirectly] allude concerning 
a proposal to women or for what you 
conceal within yourselves. God knows 



1 They may remarry if they wish. 



that you will have them in mind. But do 
not promise them secredy except for 
saying a proper saying. And do not de- 
termine to undertake a marriage con- 
tract until the decreed period 81 reaches 
its end. And know that God knows 
what is within yourselves, so beware of 
Him. And know that God is Forgiving 
and Forbearing. 

236. There is no blame upon you if you di- 
vorce women you have not touched 82 
nor specified for them an obligation. 83 
But give them [a gift of] compensation 

- the wealthy according to his capability 
and the poor according to his capability 

- a provision according to what is ac- 
ceptable, a duty upon the doers of 
good. 

237. And if you divorce them before you 
have touched them and you have al- 
ready specified for them an obligation, 
then [give] half of what you specified - 
unless they forego the right or the one 
in whose hand is the marriage contract 
foregoes it. And to forego it is nearer to 
righteousness. And do not forget gra- 
ciousness between you. Indeed God, of 
whatever you do, is Seeing. 

238. Maintain with care the [obligatory] 
prayers and [in particular] the middle 
[i.e., 'asr] prayer and stand before God, 
devoutly obedient. 

239. And if you fear [an enemy, then pray] 
on foot or riding. But when you are se- 
cure, then remember God [in prayer], 
as He has taught you that which you 
did not [previously] know. 



81 The 'iddab (bereavement period) after the death 
of a husband. 

82 The marriage has not been consummated. 

83 Require bridal gift (mahr). 



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240. And those who are taken in death 
among you and leave wives behind - 
for their wives is a bequest: mainten- 
ance for one year without turning 
[them] out. But if they leave [of their 
own accord], then there is no blame 
upon you for what they do with them- 
selves in an acceptable way. 84 And God 
is Exalted in Might and Wise. 

241 . And for divorced women is a provision 
according to what is acceptable - a duty 
upon the righteous. 

242. Thus does God make clear to you His 
verses [i.e., laws] that you might use 
reason. 

243. Have you not considered those who 
left their homes in many thousands, 
fearing death? God said to them, 
"Die"; then He restored them to life. 
And God is full of bounty to the 
people, but most of the people do not 
show gratitude. 

244. And fight in the cause of God and 
know that God is Hearing and Know- 
ing. 

245. Who is it that would loan God a goodly 
loan so He may multiply it for him 
many times over? And it is God who 
withholds and grants abundance, and to 
Him you will be returned. 

246. Have you not considered the assembly 
of the Children of Israel after [the time 
of] Moses when they said to a prophet 
of theirs, "Send to us a king, and we 
will fight in the way of God?" He said, 
"Would you perhaps refrain from fight- 
ing if fighting was prescribed for you?" 
They said, "And why should we not 



fight in the cause of God when we have 
been driven out from our homes and 
from our children?" But when fighting 
was prescribed for them, they turned 
away, except for a few of them. And 
God is Knowing of the wrongdoers. 

247. And their prophet said to them, "In- 
deed, God has sent to you Saul as a 
king." They said, "How can he have 
kingship over us while we are more 
worthy of kingship than him and he has 
not been given any measure of wealth?" 
He said, "Indeed, God has chosen him 
over you and has increased him abun- 
dantly in knowledge and stature. And 
God gives His sovereignty to whom He 
wills. And God is all-Encompassing [in 
favor] and Knowing." 

248. And their prophet said to them, "In- 
deed, a sign of his kingship is that the 
chest will come to you in which is as- 
surance 85 from your Lord and a rem- 
nant of what the family of Moses and 
the family of Aaron had left, carried by 
the angels. Indeed in that is a sign for 
you, if you are believers." 

249. And when Saul went forth with the 
soldiers, he said, "Indeed, God will be 
testing you with a river. So whoever 
drinks from it is not of me, and whoev- 
er does not taste it is indeed of me, ex- 
cepting one who takes [from it] in the 
hollow of his hand." But they drank 
from it, except a [very] few of them. 
Then when he had crossed it along 
with those who believed with him, they 
said, "There is no power for us today 
against Goliath and his soldiers." But 
those who were certain that they would 
meet God said, "How many a small 
company has overcome a large compa- 



84 This directive was abrogated by those later 
revealed in 2:234 and 4:12. 



85 Signs giving reassurance. 



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ny by permission of God. And God is 
with the patient." 

250. And when they went forth to [face] 
Goliath and his soldiers, they said, 
"Our Lord, pour upon us patience and 
plant firmly our feet and give us victory 
over the disbelieving people." 

251. So they defeated them by permission of 
God, and David killed Goliath, and 
God gave him the kingship and wis- 
dom [i.e., prophethood] and taught him 
from that which He willed. And if it 
were not for God checking [some] 
people by means of others, the earth 
would have been corrupted, but God is 
full of bounty to the worlds. 

252. These are the verses of God which We 
recite to you, [O Muhammad], in truth. 
And indeed, you are from among the 
messengers. 

253. Those messengers - some of them We 
caused to exceed others. Among them 
were those to whom God spoke, and 
He raised some of them in degree. And 
We gave Jesus, the Son of Mary, clear 
proofs, and We supported him with the 
Pure Spirit [i.e., Gabriel]. If God had 
willed, those [generations] succeeding 
them would not have fought each other 
after the clear proofs had come to 
them. But they differed, and some of 
them believed and some of them disbe- 
lieved. And if God had willed, they 
would not have fought each other, but 
God does what He intends. 

254. O you who have believed, spend from 
that which We have provided for you 
before there comes a Day in which 
there is no exchange [i.e., ransom] and 
no friendship and no intercession. And 
the disbelievers - they are the wrong- 
doers. 



255. God - there is no deity except Him, the 
Ever-Living, the Sustainer of [all] exis- 
tence. Neither drowsiness overtakes 
Him nor sleep. To Him belongs what- 
ever is in the heavens and whatever is 
on the earth. Who is it that can inter- 
cede with Him except by His permis- 
sion? He knows what is [presently] be- 
fore them and what will be after 
them, 86 and they encompass not a thing 
of His knowledge except for what He 
wills. His Kursi 87 extends over the hea- 
vens and the earth, and their preserva- 
tion tires Him not. And He is the Most 
High, the Most Great. 

256. There shall be no compulsion in [ac- 
ceptance of] the religion. The right 
course has become clear from the 
wrong. So whoever disbelieves in 
taghut 88 and believes in God has 
grasped the most trustworthy handhold 
with no break in it. And God is Hear- 
ing and Knowing. 

257. God is the ally 89 of those who believe. 
He brings them out from darknesses 
into the light. And those who disbelieve 
- their allies are taghut. They take them 
out of the light into darknesses. 90 
Those are the companions of the Fire; 
they will abide eternally therein. 

258. Have you not considered the one who 
argued with Abraham about his Lord 
[merely] because God had given him 
kingship? When Abraham said, "My 



86 God's knowledge encompasses every aspect of 
His creations in the past, present and future. 

87 Chair or footstool. It is not to be confused with 
al-'Arsh (the Throne), which is infinitely higher 
and greater than al-Kursi. 

88 False objects of worship, such as idols, heaven- 
ly bodies, sprits, human beings, etc. 

89 i.e., patron and supporter. 

90 The light of truth is one, while the darkness of 
disbelief, doubt and error are many. 



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Lord is the one who gives life and 
causes death," he said, "I give life and 
cause death." Abraham said, "Indeed, 
God brings up the sun from the east, 
so bring it up from the west." So the 
disbeliever was overwhelmed [by asto- 
nishment], and God does not guide the 
wrongdoing people. 

259. Or [consider such an example] as the 
one who passed by a township which 
had fallen into ruin. He said, "How will 
God bring this to life after its death?" 
So God caused him to die for a hun- 
dred years; then He revived him. He 
said, "How long have you remained?" 
He [the man] said, "I have remained a 
day or part of a day." He said, "Rather, 
you have remained one hundred years. 
Look at your food and your drink; it 
has not changed with time. And look at 
your donkey; and We will make you a 
sign for the people. And look at the 
bones [of this donkey] - how We raise 
them and then We cover them with 
flesh." And when it became clear to 
him, he said, "I know that God is over 
all things competent." 

260. And [mention] when Abraham said, 
"My Lord, show me how You give life 
to the dead." [God] said, "Have you 
not believed?" He said, "Yes, but [I 
ask] only that my heart may be satis- 
fied." [God] said, "Take four birds and 
commit them to yourself. 91 Then [after 
slaughtering them] put on each hill a 
portion of them; then call them - they 
will come [flying] to you in haste. And 
know that God is Exalted in Might and 
Wise." 

261. The example of those who spend their 
wealth in the way of God is like a seed 
[of grain] which grows seven spikes; in 



i.e., train them to come to you on command. 



each spike is a hundred grains. And 
God multiplies [His reward] for whom 
He wills. And God is all-Encompassing 
and Knowing. 

262. Those who spend their wealth in the 
way of God and then do not follow up 
what they have spent with reminders 
[of it] or [other] injury will have their 
reward with their Lord, and there will 
be no fear concerning them, nor will 
they grieve. 

263. Kind speech and forgiveness are better 
than charity followed by injury. And 
God is Free of need and Forbearing. 

264. O you who have believed, do not inva- 
lidate your charities with reminders [of 
it] or injury as does one who spends his 
wealth [only] to be seen by the people 
and does not believe in God and the 
Last Day. His example is like that of a 
[large] smooth stone upon which is 
dust and is hit by a downpour that 
leaves it bare. They are unable [to keep] 
anything of what they have earned. And 
God does not guide the disbelieving 
people. 

265. And the example of those who spend 
their wealth seeking means to the ap- 
proval of God and assuring [reward 
for] themselves is like a garden on high 
ground which is hit by a downpour - so 
it yields its fruits in double. And [even] 
if it is not hit by a downpour, then a 
dri22le [is sufficient]. And God, of what 
you do, is Seeing. 

266. Would one of you like to have a garden 
of palm trees and grapevines under- 
neath which rivers flow in which he has 
from every fruit? But he is afflicted 
with old age and has weak [i.e., imma- 
ture] offspring, and it is hit by a whirl- 
wind containing fire and is burned. 



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Thus does God make clear to you [His] 
verses that you might give thought. 

267. O you who have believed, spend from 
the good things which you have earned 
and from that which We have pro- 
duced for you from the earth. And do 
not aim toward the defective there- 
from, spending [from that] while you 
would not take it [yourself] except with 
closed eyes. And know that God is 
Free of need and Praiseworthy. 

268. Satan threatens you with poverty and 
orders you to immorality, while God 
promises you forgiveness from Him 
and bounty. And God is all- 
Encompassing and Knowing. 

269. He gives wisdom 92 to whom He wills, 
and whoever has been given wisdom 
has certainly been given much good. 
And none will remember except those 
of understanding. 

270. And whatever you spend of expendi- 
tures or make of vows - indeed, God 
knows of it. And for the wrongdoers 
there are no helpers. 

271. If you disclose your charitable expendi- 
tures, they are good; but if you conceal 
them and give them to the poor, it is 
better for you, and He will remove 
from you some of your misdeeds [the- 
reby]. And God, with what you do, is 
[fully] Acquainted. 

272. Not upon you, [O Muhammad], is [re- 
sponsibility for] their guidance, but 
God guides whom He wills. And what- 
ever good you [believers] spend is for 
yourselves, and you do not spend ex- 
cept seeking the countenance of God. 



And whatever you spend of good 93 - it 
will be fully repaid to you, and you will 
not be wronged. 

273. [Charity is] for the poor who have been 
restricted for the cause of God, unable 
to move about in the land. An ignorant 
[person] would think them self- 
sufficient because of their restraint, but 
you will know them by their [characte- 
ristic] sign. They do not ask people per- 
sistently [or at all]. And whatever you 
spend of good - indeed, God is Know- 
ing of it. 

274. Those who spend their wealth [in 
God's way] by night and by day, secret- 
ly and publicly - they will have their re- 
ward with their Lord. And no fear will 
there be concerning them, nor will they 
grieve. 

275. Those who consume interest 94 cannot 
stand [on the Day of Resurrection] ex- 
cept as one stands who is being beaten 
by Satan into insanity. That is because 
they say, "Trade is [just] like interest." 
But God has permitted trade and has 
forbidden interest. So whoever has re- 
ceived an admonition from his Lord 
and desists may have what is past, and 
his affair rests with God. But whoever 
returns [to dealing in interest or usury] - 
those are the companions of the Fire; 
they will abide eternally therein. 

276. God destroys interest and gives in- 
crease for charities. And God does not 
like every sinning disbeliever. 

277. Indeed, those who believe and do righ- 
teous deeds and establish prayer and 
give 2akah will have their reward with 



92 The knowledge and understanding of the reli- 
gion and of the Qur'an. 



93 i.e, wealth, property, resources, time, effort, etc. 

94 Included is that given on commercial as well as 
consumer loans. 



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their Lord, and there will be no fear 
concerning them, nor will they grieve. 

278. O you who have believed, fear God 
and give up what remains [due to you] 
of interest, if you should be believers. 

279. And if you do not, then be informed of 
a war [against you] from God and His 
Messenger. But if you repent, you may 
have your principal - [thus] you do no 
wrong, nor are you wronged. 

280. And if someone is in hardship, then [let 
there be] postponement until [a time 
of] ease. But if you give [from your 
right as] charity, then it is better for 
you, if you only knew. 

281. And fear a Day when you will be re- 
turned to God. Then every soul will be 
compensated for what it earned, and 
they will not be wronged [i.e., treated 
unjustly] . 

282. O you who have believed, when you 
contract a debt for a specified term, 
write it down. And let a scribe write [it] 
between you in justice. Let no scribe 
refuse to write as God has taught him. 
So let him write and let the one who 
has the obligation [i.e., the debtor] dic- 
tate. And let him fear God, his Lord, 
and not leave anything out of it. But if 
the one who has the obligation is of li- 
mited understanding or weak or unable 
to dictate himself, then let his guardian 
dictate in justice. And bring to witness 
two witnesses from among your men. 
And if there are not two men [availa- 
ble], then a man and two women from 
those whom you accept as witnesses - 
so that if one of them [i.e., the women] 
errs, then the other can remind her. 
And let not the witnesses refuse when 
they are called upon. And do not be 
[too] weary to write it, whether it is 



small or large, for its [specified] term. 
That is more just in the sight of God 
and stronger as evidence and more like- 
ly to prevent doubt between you, ex- 
cept when it is an immediate transac- 
tion which you conduct among your- 
selves. For [then] there is no blame 
upon you if you do not write it. And 
take witnesses when you conclude a 
contract. Let no scribe be harmed or 
any witness. For if you do so, indeed, it 
is [grave] disobedience in you. And fear 
God. And God teaches you. And God 
is Knowing of all things. 

283. And if you are on a journey and cannot 
find a scribe, then a security deposit 
[should be] taken. And if one of you 
entrusts another, then let him who is 
entrusted discharge his trust [faithfully] 
and let him fear God, his Lord. And do 
not conceal testimony, for whoever 
conceals it - his heart is indeed sinful, 
and God is Knowing of what you do. 

284. To God belongs whatever is in the 
heavens and whatever is in the earth. 
Whether you show what is within your- 
selves or conceal it, God will bring you 
to account for it. Then He will forgive 
whom He wills and punish whom He 
wills, and God is over all things compe- 
tent. 

285. The Messenger has believed in what 
was revealed to him from his Lord, and 
[so have] the believers. All of them 
have believed in God and His angels 
and His books and His messengers, 
[saying], "We make no distinction be- 
tween any of His messengers." And 
they say, "We hear and we obey. [We 
seek] Your forgiveness, our Lord, and 
to You is the [final] destination." 

286. God does not charge a soul except 
[with that within] its capacity. It will 



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have [the consequence of] what [good] 
it has gained, and it will bear [the con- 
sequence of] what [evil] it has earned. 
"Our Lord, do not impose blame upon 
us if we have forgotten or erred. Our 
Lord, and lay not upon us a burden like 
that which You laid upon those before 
us. Our Lord, and burden us not with 
that which we have no ability to bear. 
And pardon us; and forgive us; and 
have mercy upon us. You are our pro- 
tector, so give us victory over the dis- 
believing people." 95 



95 God concludes this surah by directing His ser- 
vants how to supplicate Him, just as He taught 
them in surah al-Fdtihah how to praise Him and 
ask for guidance. 



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Surah 3: Ale-'Imran 

The Period of Revelation 

This Surah consists of four discourses: The first discourse (v. 1-32) was probably revealed soon after the 
Battle of Badr. The second discourse (v. 33-63) was revealed in 9 A.H. on the occasion of the visit of the 
deputation from the Christians of Najran. The third discourse (v. 64-120) appears to have been revealed im- 
mediately after the first one. The fourth discourse (v. 121-200) was revealed after the Battle of Uhud. 

Subject 

Though these discourses were revealed at different periods and on different occasions they are so inter- 
linked and so inter-connected in regard to their central theme that they make together one continuous whole. 
This Surah has been especially addressed to two groups; the people of the Book (the Jews and the Christians) 
and the followers of Muhammad. 

The message has been extended to the Jews and the Christians in continuation of the invitation in Surah 2: 
Al-Baqarah in which they have been admonished for their erroneous beliefs and evil morals and advised to 
accept as a remedy the Truth of the Qur'an. They have been told here that Muhammad taught the same right 
way of life that had been preached by their own Prophets; that it alone was the Right Way, the way of God; 
hence any deviation from it will be wrong even according to their own Scriptures. 

The second group, the Muslims who had been declared to be the best Community in Al-Baqarah and ap- 
pointed torch-bearers of the Truth, were entrusted with the responsibility of reforming the world have been 
given additional instructions in continuation of those given in the preceding Surah. The Muslims have been 
warned to learn a lesson from the religious and moral degeneration of the former communities and to refrain 
from treading in their footsteps. Instructions have also been given about the reformative work they had to 
perform. Besides this they have been taught how to deal with the people of the Book and the hypocrites who 
were putting different kinds of hindrances in the way of God. Above all they have been warned to guard 
against those weaknesses which had come to the surface in the Battle Uhud. 

Background 

The following is the background of the Surah: 

1. The Believers had met with all sorts of trials and hardships about which they had been forewarned 
in Al-Baqarah. Though they had come out victorious in the Battle of Badr they were not out of 
danger yet. Their victory had aroused the enmity of all those powers in Arabia which were opposed 
to the Islamic Movement. Signs of threatening storms had begun to appear on all sides and the 
Muslims were in a perpetual state of fear and anxiety. It looked as if the whole Arabian world 
around the tiny state of Madinah - which was no more than a village state at that time - was bent 
upon blotting out its very existence. This state of war was also adversely affecting its economy 
which had already been badly disturbed by the influx of the Muslim refugees from Makkah. 

2. Then there was the disturbing problem of the Jewish clans who lived in the suburbs of Madinah. 
They were discarding the treaties of alliance they had made with the Prophet after his migration 
from Makkah. So much so that on the occasion of the Battle of Badr these people of the Book 
sympathized with the evil aims of the idolaters in spite of the fact that their fundamental articles of 
Faith - Oneness of God, Prophethood and Life-after-death - were the same as those of the Mus- 
lims. After the Battle of Badr they openly began to incite the Quraysh and other Arab clans to 
wreak their vengeance on the Muslims. Thus those Jewish clans set aside their centuries-old friendly 
and neighborly relations with the people of Madinah. At last when their mischievous actions and 

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breaches of treaties became unbearable the Prophet attacked the Bani-Qaynuqah, the most mi- 
schievous of all the other Jewish clans who had conspired with the hypocrites of Madinah and the 
idolatrous Arab clans to encircle the Believers on all sides. The magnitude of the peril might be 
judged from the fact that even the life of the Prophet himself was always in danger. Therefore his 
Companions slept in their armors during that period and kept watch at night to guard against any 
sudden attack and whenever the Prophet happened to be out of sight even for a short while they 
would at once set out in search of him. 

3. This incitement by the Jews added fuel to the fire which was burning in the hearts of the Quraysh 
and they began to make preparations to avenge the defeat they had suffered at Badr. A year after 
this an army of 3000 strong marched out of Makkah to invade Madinah and a battle took place at 
the foot of Mount Uhud. The Prophet came out of Madinah with one thousand men to meet the 
enemy. While they were marching to the battlefield three hundred hypocrites deserted the army and 
returned to Madinah but there still remained a small band of hypocrites among the seven hundred 
who accompanied the Prophet. They played their part and did their worst to create mischief and 
chaos in the ranks of the Believers during the Battle. This was the first clear indication of the fact 
that within the fold of the Muslim Community there was quite a large number of saboteurs who 
were always ready to conspire with the external enemies to harm their own brethren. 

4. Though the devices of the hypocrites had played a great part in the set-back at Uhud the weak- 
nesses of the Muslims themselves contributed no less to it. And it was but natural that the Muslims 
should show signs of moral weakness for they were a new community which had only recently been 
formed on a new ideology and had not as yet got a thorough moral training. Naturally in this 
second hard test of their physical and moral strength some weaknesses came to the surface. That is 
why a detailed review of the Battle of Uhud was needed to warn the Muslims of their shortcomings 
and to issue instructions for their reform. It should also be noted that this review of the Battle is 
quite different from the reviews that are usually made by generals on similar occasions. 

Subject: Guidance 

This Surah is the sequel to Al-Baqarah and the invitation therein is continued to the people of the Book. In 
Al-Baqarah the Jews were pointedly invited to accept the Guidance and in this Surah the Christians have 
particularly been admonished to give up their erroneous beliefs and accept the Guidance of the Qur'an. At 
the same time the Muslims have been instructed to nourish the virtues that may enable them to carry out 
their obligations and spread the Divine Guidance. 



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Surah 3: Ali-'Imran 96 

In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, 
the Most Merciful 

1. Alif, Lam, Meem. 97 

2. God - there is no deity except Him, the 
Ever-Living, the Sustainer of existence. 

3. He has sent down upon you, [O Mu- 
hammad], the Book in truth, confirm- 
ing what was before it. And He re- 
vealed the Torah and the Gospel. 

4. Before, as guidance for the people. And 
He revealed the Criterion [i.e., the 
Qur'an], Indeed, those who disbelieve 
in the verses of God will have a severe 
punishment, and God is Exalted in 
Mght, the Owner of Retribution. 

5. Indeed, from God nothing is hidden in 
the earth nor in the heaven. 

6. It is He who forms you in the wombs 
however He wills. There is no deity ex- 
cept Him, the Exalted in Might, the 
Wise. 

7. It is He who has sent down to you, [O 
Muhammad], the Book; in it are verses 
[that are] precise — they are the founda- 
tion of the Book — and others unspecif- 
ied 8 As for those in whose hearts is 
deviation [from truth], they will follow 
that of it which is unspecific, seeking 
discord and seeking an interpretation 
[suitable to them]. And no one knows 
its [true] interpretation except God. But 
those firm in knowledge say, "We be- 

96 AJi- 'Imran: The family of 'Imran. 

97 See footnote to 2:1. 

98 Those which are stated in such a way that they 
are open to more than one interpretation or 
whose meaning is known only to God, such as 
the opening letters on certain surahs. 



lieve in it. All [of it] is from our Lord." 
And no one will be reminded except 
those of understanding, 

8. [Who say], "Our Lord, let not our 
hearts deviate after You have guided us 
and grant us from Yourself mercy. In- 
deed, You are the Bestower. 

9. Our Lord, surely You will gather the 
people for a Day about which there is 
no doubt. Indeed, God does not fail in 
His promise." 

10. Indeed, those who disbelieve - never 
will their wealth or their children avail 
them against God at all. And it is they 
who are fuel for the Fire. 

1 1 . [Theirs is] like the custom of the people 
of Pharaoh and those before them. 
They denied Our signs, so God seized 
them for their sins. And God is severe 
in penalty. 

12. Say to those who disbelieve, "You will 
be overcome and gathered together to 
Hell, and wretched is the resting place." 

13. Already there has been for you a sign in 
the two armies which met [in combat at 
Badr] — one fighting in the cause of 
God and another of disbelievers. They 
saw them [to be] twice their [own] 
number by [their] eyesight. 99 But God 
supports with His victory whom He 
wills. Indeed in that is a lesson for 
those of vision. 

14. Beautified for people is the love of that 
which they desire — of women and 
sons, heaped-up sums of gold and sil- 
ver, fine branded horses, and catde and 
tilled land. That is the enjoyment of 

99 The believers saw the disbelievers to be double 
their own number proceeding the battle of Badr, 
while, in fact, they were three times their number. 



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worldly life, but God has with Him the 
best return [i.e, Paradise] . 

15. Say, "Shall I inform you of [something] 
better than that? For those who fear 
God will be gardens in the presence of 
their Lord beneath which rivers flow, 
wherein they abide eternally, and puri- 
fied spouses and approval from God. 
And God is Seeing [i.e., aware] of [His] 
servants — 

16. Those who say, "Our Lord, indeed we 
have believed, so forgive us our sins 
and protect us from the punishment of 
the Fire," 

17. The patient, the true, the obedient, 
those who spend [in the way of God], 
and those who seek forgiveness before 
dawn. 

18. God witnesses that there is no deity 
except Him, and [so do] the angels and 
those of knowledge - [that He is] main- 
taining [creation] in justice. There is no 
deity except Him, the Exalted in Might, 
the Wise. 

19. Indeed, the religion in the sight of God 
is Islam. And those who were given the 
Scripture did not differ except after 
knowledge had come to them — out of 
jealous animosity between themselves. 
And whoever disbelieves in the verses 
of God, then indeed, God is swift in 
[taking] account. 

20. So if they argue with you, say, "I have 
submitted myself to God [in Islam], 
and [so have] those who follow me." 
And say to those who were given the 
Scripture and [to] the unlearned, 100 
"Have you submitted yourselves?" And 
if they submit [in Islam], they are rightly 



100 Those who had no scripture (i.e., the pagans). 



guided; but if they turn away — then 
upon you is only the [duty of] notifica- 
tion. And God is Seeing of [His] ser- 
vants. 

21. Those who disbelieve in the signs of 
God and kill the prophets without right 
and kill those who order justice from 
among the people — give them tidings 
of a painful punishment. 

22. They are the ones whose deeds have 
become worthless in this world and the 
Hereafter, and for them there will be 
no helpers. 

23. Do you not consider, [O Muhammad], 
those who were given a portion of the 
Scripture? They are invited to the Scrip- 
ture of God that it should arbitrate be- 
tween them; 101 then a party of them 
turns away, and they are refusing. 

24. That is because they say, "Never will 
the Fire touch us except for [a few] 
numbered days," and [because] they 
were deluded in their religion by what 
they were inventing. 

25. So how will it be when We assemble 
them for a Day about which there is no 
doubt? And each soul will be compen- 
sated [in full for] what it earned, and 
they will not be wronged. 

26. Say, "O God, Owner of Sovereignty, 
You give sovereignty to whom You will 
and You take sovereignty away from 
whom You will. You honour whom 
You will and You humble whom You 
will. In Your hand 102 is [all] good. In- 



101 Referring to the Jews of Madinah who refused 
to implement the rulings given by God in the 
Torah or to acknowledge the Prophet, whose 
coming was mentioned therein. 

102 See footnote to 2:19. 

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deed, You are over all things compe- 
tent. 

27. You cause the night to enter the day, 
and You cause the day to enter the 
night; and You bring the living out of 
the dead, and You bring the dead out 
of the living. And You give provision 
to whom You will without account [i.e., 
limit or measure]." 

28. Let not believers take disbelievers as 
allies [i.e., supporters or protectors] ra- 
ther than believers. And whoever [of 
you] does that has nothing [i.e., no as- 
sociation] with God, except when tak- 
ing precaution against them in pru- 
dence. 103 And God warns you of Him- 
self, and to God is the [final] destina- 
tion. 

29. Say, "Whether you conceal what is in 
your breasts or reveal it, God knows it. 
And He knows that which is in the 
heavens and that which is on the earth. 
And God is over all things competent. 

30. The Day every soul will find what it has 
done of good present [before it] and 
what it has done of evil, it will wish that 
between itself and that [evil] was a great 
distance. And God warns you of Him- 
self, and God is Kind to [His] ser- 
vants." 

31. Say, [O Muhammad], "If you should 
love God, then follow me, [so] God 
will love you and forgive you your sins. 
And God is Forgiving and Merciful." 

32. Say, "Obey God and the Messenger." 
But if they turn away — then indeed, 
God does not like the disbelievers. 



103 When fearing harm from an enemy, the be- 
liever may pretend as long as his heart and inten- 
tion are not effected. 



33. Indeed, God chose Adam and Noah 
and the family of Abraham and the 
family of 'Imran over the worlds — 

34. Descendants, some of them from oth- 
ers. And God is Hearing and Knowing. 

35. [Mention, O Muhammad], when the 
wife of 'Imran said, "My Lord, indeed I 
have pledged to You what is in my 
womb, consecrated [for Your service], 
so accept this from me. Indeed, You 
are the Hearing, the Knowing." 

36. But when she delivered her, she said, 
"My Lord, I have delivered a female." 
And God was most knowing of what 
she delivered, and the male is not like 
the female. "And I have named her 
Mary, and I seek refuge for her in You 
and [for] her descendants from Satan, 
the expelled [from the mercy of God]." 

37. So her Lord accepted her with good 
acceptance and caused her to grow in a 
good manner and put her in the care of 
Zechariah. Every time Zechariah en- 
tered upon her in the prayer chamber, 
he found with her provision. He said, 
"O Mary, from where is this [coming] 
to you?" She said, "It is from God. In- 
deed, God provides for whom He wills 
without account." 

38. At that, Zechariah called upon his 
Lord, saying, "My Lord, grant me from 
Yourself a good offspring. Indeed, You 
are the Hearer of supplication." 

39. So the angels called him while he was 
standing in prayer in the chamber, "In- 
deed, God gives you good tidings of 
John, confirming a word 104 from God 
and [who will be] honourable, abstain- 

104 Referring to the Prophet Jesus, who was con- 
ceived merley by a command from God — the 
word "Be". 

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ing [from women], and a prophet from 
among the righteous." 

40. He said, "My Lord, how will I have a 
boy when I have reached old age and 
my wife is barren?" He [the angel] said, 
"Such is God; He does what He wills." 

41. He said, "My Lord, make for me a 
sign." He said, "Your sign is that you 
will not [be able to] speak to the people 
for three days except by gesture. And 
remember your Lord much and exalt 
[Him with praise] in the evening and 
the morning." 

42. And [mention] when the angels said, 
"O Mary, indeed God has chosen you 
and purified you and chosen you above 
the women of the worlds. 

43. O Mary, be devoutly obedient to your 
Lord and prostrate and bow with those 
who bow [in prayer]." 

44. That is from the news of the unseen 
which We reveal to you, [O Muham- 
mad]. And you were not with them 
when they cast their pens 105 as to which 
of them should be responsible for 
Mary. Nor were you with them when 
they disputed. 

45. [And mention] when the angels said, 
"O Mary, indeed God gives you good 
tidings of a word 106 from Him, whose 
name will be the Messiah, Jesus, the son 
of Mary — distinguished in this world 
and the Hereafter and among those 
brought near [to God]. 

46. He will speak to the people in the 
cradle and in maturity and will be of the 
righteous." 



47. She said, "My Lord, how will I have a 
child when no man has touched me?" 
[The angel] said, "Such is God; He 
creates what He wills. When He de- 
crees a matter, He only says to it, 'Be,' 
and it is. 

48. And He will teach him writing and wis- 
dom 107 and the Torah and the Gospel 

49. And [make him] a messenger to the 
Children of Israel, [who will say], 'In- 
deed I have come to you with a sign 
from your Lord in that I design for you 
from clay [that which is] like the form 
of a bird, then I breathe into it and it 
becomes a bird by permission of God. 
And I cure the blind [from birth] and 
the leper, and I give life to the dead — 
by permission of God. And I inform 
you of what you eat and what you store 
in your houses. Indeed in that is a sign 
for you, if you are believers. 

50. And [I have come] confirming what 
was before me of the Torah and to 
make lawful for you some of what was 
forbidden to you. And I have come to 
you with a sign from your Lord, so fear 
God and obey me. 

5 1 . Indeed, God is my Lord and your Lord, 
so worship Him. That is the straight 
path.' " 

52. But when Jesus felt [persistence in] dis- 
belief from them, he said, "Who are my 
supporters for [the cause of] God?" 
The disciples said, "We are supporters 
for God. We have believed in God and 
testify that we are Muslims [submitting 
to Him], 

53. Our Lord, we have believed in what 
You revealed and have followed the 



105 i.e., threw lots. 

106 See footnote to 3:39. 



107 The teachings of the prophets. 



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54. 



55. 



56. 



57. 



58. 



59. 



60. 



61. 



messenger [i.e., Jesus], so register us 
among the witnesses [to truth]." 

And they [i.e., the disbelievers] planned, 
but God planned. And God is the best 
of planners. 

[Mention] when God said, "O Jesus, 
indeed I will take you and raise you to 
Myself and purify [i.e., free] you from 
those who disbelieve and make those 
who follow you [in submission to God 
alone] superior to those who disbelieve 
until the Day of Resurrection. Then to 
Me is your return, and I will judge be- 
tween you concerning that in which 
you used to differ. 

And as for those who disbelieved, I will 
punish them with a severe punishment 
in this world and the Hereafter, and 
they will have no helpers." 

But as for those who believed and did 
righteous deeds, He will give them in 
full their rewards, and God does not 
like the wrongdoers. 

This is what We recite to you, [O Mu- 
hammad], of [Our] verses and the pre- 
cise [and wise] message [i.e., the 
Qur'an] . 

Indeed, the example of Jesus to God 108 
is like that of Adam. He created him 
from dust; then He said to him, "Be," 
and he was. 



The truth is from your Lord, so 
be among the doubters. 



do not 



Then whoever argues with you about it 
after [this] knowledge has come to you 
- say, "Come, let us call our sons and 
your sons, our women and your wom- 



1 i.e., regarding His creation of him. 



en, ourselves and yourselves, then sup- 
plicate earnesdy [together] and invoke 
the curse of God upon the liars [among 
us]." 

62. Indeed, this is the true narration. And 
there is no deity except God. And in- 
deed, God is the Exalted in Might, the 
Wise. 

63. But if they turn away, then indeed - 
God is Knowing of the corrupters. 

64. Say, "O People of the Scripture, come 
to a word that is equitable between us 
and you — that we will not worship ex- 
cept God and not associate anything 
with Him and not take one another as 
lords instead of God." 109 But if they 
turn away, then say, "Bear witness that 
we are Muslims [submitting to Him]." 

65. O People of the Scripture, why do you 
argue about Abraham while the Torah 
and the Gospel were not revealed until 
after him? Then will you not reason? 

66. Here you are — those who have argued 
about that of which you have [some] 
knowledge, but why do you argue 
about that of which you have no know- 
ledge? And God knows, while you 
know not. 

67. Abraham was neither a Jew nor a Chris- 
tian, but he was one inclining toward 
truth, a Muslim [submitting to God]. 
And he was not of the polytheists. 110 

68. Indeed, the most worthy of Abraham 
among the people are those who fol- 
lowed him [in submission to God] and 
this prophet [i.e., Muhammad] and 



109 By obeying another in disobedience to God. 

1 10 Those who associate others with God. 



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those who believe [in his message]. And 
God is the ally of the believers. 

69. A faction of the people of the Scripture 
wish they could mislead you. But they 
do not mislead except themselves, and 
they perceive [it] not. 

70. O People of the Scripture, why do you 
disbelieve in the verses of God 111 while 
you witness [to their truth]? 



coin, he will not return it to you unless 
you are constantly standing over him 
[demanding it]. That is because they 
say, "There is no blame upon us con- 
cerning the unlearned." 113 And they 
speak untruth about God while they 
know [it]. 

76. But yes, whoever fulfills his commit- 
ment and fears God - then indeed, 
God loves those who fear Him. 



71. O People of the Scripture, why do you 77. 
mix [i.e., confuse] the truth with false- 
hood and conceal the truth while you 

know [it]? 

72. And a faction of the People of the 
Scripture say [to each other], "Believe 
in that which was revealed to the be- 
lievers at the beginning of the day and 

reject it at its end that perhaps they will 78. 

return [i.e., abandon their religion], 

73. And do not trust except those who fol- 
low your religion." Say, "Indeed, the 
[true] guidance is the guidance of God. 
[Do you fear] lest someone be given 
[knowledge] like you were given or that 

they would [thereby] argue with you be- 79. 

fore your Lord?" Say, "Indeed, [all] 
bounty is in the hand 112 of God - He 
grants it to whom He wills. And God is 
all-Encompassing and Wise." 

74. He selects for His mercy whom He 
wills. And God is the possessor of great 
bounty. 



Indeed, those who exchange the cove- 
nant of God and their [own] oaths for a 
small price will have no share in the 
Hereafter, and God will not speak to 
them or look at them on the Day of 
Resurrection, nor will He purify them; 
and they will have a painful punish- 
ment. 

And indeed, there is among them a par- 
ty who alter the Scripture with their 
tongues so you may think it is from the 
Scripture, but it is not from the Scrip- 
ture. And they say, "This is from God," 
but it is not from God. And they speak 
untruth about God while they know. 

It is not for a human [prophet] 114 that 
God should give him the Scripture 115 
and authority and prophethood and 
then he would say to the people, "Be 
servants to me rather than God," but 
[instead, he would say], "Be pious scho- 
lars of the Lord because of what you 
have taught of the Scripture and be- 
cause of what you have studied." 



75. And among the People of the Scripture 
is he who, if you entrust him with a 
great amount [of wealth], he will return 
it to you. And among them is he who, 
if you entrust him with a [single] silver 



111 i.e., deliberately reject them. 

112 See footnote to 2:19. 



80. Nor could he order you to take the an- 
gels and prophets as lords. Would he 



113 The Jews do not consider it a sin to cheat or 
lie to a gentile or a pagan. 

114 Or any believer. 

115 Or in the case of the Prophet Muhammad, 
"the Book" (i.e., the Qur'an). 



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order you to disbelief after you had 
been Muslims? 

81. And [recall, O People of the Scripture], 
when God took the covenant of the 
prophets, [saying], "Whatever I give 
you of the Scripture and wisdom and 
then there comes to you a messenger 
confirming what is with you, you [must] 
believe in him and support him." [God] 
said, "Have you acknowledged and tak- 
en upon that My commitment?" 116 
They said, "We have acknowledged it." 
He said, "Then bear witness, and I am 
with you among the witnesses." 

82. And whoever turned away after that — 
they were the defiantly disobedient. 

83. So is it other than the religion of God 
they desire, while to Him have submit- 
ted [all] those within the heavens and 
earth, willingly or by compulsion, and 
to Him they will be returned? 

84. Say, "We have believed in God and in 
what was revealed to us and what was 
revealed to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, 
Jacob, and the Descendants [al-Asbat], 
and in what was given to Moses and Je- 
sus and to the prophets from their 
Lord. We make no distinction between 
any of them, and we are Muslims [sub- 
mitting] to Him." 

85. And whoever desires other than Islam 
as religion — never will it be accepted 
from him, and he, in the Hereafter, will 
be among the losers. 

86. How shall God guide a people who 
disbelieved after their belief and had 
witnessed that the Messenger is true 
and clear signs had come to them? And 



God does not guide the wrongdoing 
people. 

87. Those — their recompense will be that 
upon them is the curse of God and the 
angels and the people, all together, 

88. Abiding eternally therein. The punish- 
ment will not be lightened for them, 
nor will they be reprieved, 

89. Except for those who repent after 
that 117 and correct themselves. For in- 
deed, God is Forgiving and Merciful. 

90. Indeed, those who disbelieve [i.e., reject 
the message] after their belief and then 
increase in disbelief — never will their 
[claimed] repentance be accepted, and 
they are the ones astray. 

91. Indeed, those who disbelieve and die 
while they are disbelievers — never 
would the [whole] capacity of the earth 
in gold be accepted from one of them if 
he would [seek to] ransom himself with 
it. For those there will be a painful pu- 
nishment, and they will have no hel- 
pers. 

92. Never will you attain the good [re- 
ward] 118 until you spend [in the way of 
God] from that which you love. And 
whatever you spend — indeed, God is 
Knowing of it. 

93. All food was lawful to the Children of 
Israel except what Israel [i.e., Jacob] 
had made unlawful to himself before 
the Torah was revealed. Say, [O Mu- 
hammad], "So bring the Torah and re- 
cite it, if you should be truthful." 



1 i.e., Have you accepted this obligation? 



117 After their wrongdoing. 

118 Another meaning is "You will never attain 
righteousness." 



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94. And whoever invents about God un- 
truth after that — then those are [truly] 
the wrongdoers. 

95. Say, "God has told the truth. So follow 
the religion of Abraham, inclining to- 
ward truth; and he was not of the po- 

lytheists." 119 

96. Indeed, the first House [of worship] 
established for mankind was that at 
Bakkah [i.e., Makkah] - blessed and a 
guidance for the worlds. 

97. In it are clear signs [such as] the stand- 
ing place of Abraham. And whoever 
enters it [i.e., the Haram] shall be safe. 
And [due] to God from the people is a 
pilgrimage to the House — for whoever 
is able to find thereto a way. But 
whoever disbelieves [i.e., refuses] — 
then indeed, God is free from need of 
the worlds. 120 

98. Say, "O People of the Scripture, why 
do you disbelieve in the verses of God 
while God is Witness over what you 
do?" 

99. Say, "O People of the Scripture, why 
do you avert from the way of God 
those who believe, seeking to make it 
[seem] deviant, while you are witnesses 
[to the truth]? And God is not unaware 
of what you do." 

100. O you who have believed, if you obey a 
party of those who were given the 
Scripture, they would turn you back, af- 
ter your belief, [to being] unbelievers. 

101. And how could you disbelieve while to 
you are being recited the verses of God 
and among you is His Messenger? And 

119 See footnote to 3:67. 

120 He has no need for His servants' worship; it is 
they who are in need of Him. 



whoever holds firmly to God 121 has 
[indeed] been guided to a straight path. 

102. O you who have believed, fear God as 
He should be feared and do not die ex- 
cept as Muslims [in submission to 
Him], 

103. And hold firmly to the rope 122 of God 
all together and do not become divided. 
And remember the favor of God upon 
you - when you were enemies and He 
brought your hearts together and you 
became, by His favor, brothers. And 
you were on the edge of a pit of the 
Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus 
does God make clear to you His verses 
that you may be guided. 

104. And let there be [arising] from you a 
nation inviting to [all that is] good, en- 
joining what is right and forbidding 
what is wrong, 123 and those will be the 
successful. 

105. And do not be like the ones who be- 
came divided and differed after the 
clear proofs had come to them. And 
those will have a great punishment 

106. On the Day [some] faces will turn white 
and [some] faces will turn black. As for 
those whose faces turn black, [to them 
it will be said], "Did you disbelieve [i.e., 
reject faith] after your belief? Then taste 
the punishment for what you used to 
reject." 

107. But as for those whose faces will turn 
white, [they will be] within the mercy of 
God. They will abide therein eternally. 

121 i.e., adhering to His ordinances strictly, then 
trusting in Him and relying upon Him complete- 

122 Referring either to His covenant or the 
Qur'an. 

123 According to the laws of God. 

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108. These are the verses of God. We recite 
them to you, [O Muhammad], in truth; 
and God wants no injustice to the 
worlds [i.e., His creatures]. 

109. To God belongs whatever is in the 
heavens and whatever is on the earth. 
And to God will [all] matters be re- 
turned. 

110. You are the best nation produced [as an 
example] for mankind. You enjoin what 
is right and forbid what is wrong and 
believe in God. If only the People of 
the Scripture had believed, it would 
have been better for them. Among 
them are believers, but most of them 
are defiantly disobedient. 

111. They will not harm you except for 
[some] annoyance. And if they fight 
you, they will show you their backs [i.e., 
retreat]; then they will not be aided. 

112. They have been put under humiliation 
[by God] wherever they are overtaken, 
except for a rope [i.e., covenant] from 
God and a rope [i.e., treaty] from the 
people [i.e., the Muslims]. 124 And they 
have drawn upon themselves anger 
from God and have been put under 
destitution. That is because they disbe- 
lieved in [i.e., rejected] the verses of 
God and killed the prophets without 
right. That is because they disobeyed 
and [habitually] transgressed. 

113. They are not [all] the same; among the 
People of the Scripture is a communi- 
ty 125 standing [in obedience], reciting 

124 Once they have surrendered, the People of the 
Scripture retain their rights and honour (in spite 
of their refusal of Islam) through payment of the 

ji^yah tax in place of %akdh and military service 
due from Muslims. They are then under the pro- 
tection of the Islamic state. 

125 Of people who accepted Islam. 



the verses of God during periods of the 
night and prostrating [in prayer], 

114. They believe in God and the Last Day, 
and they enjoin what is right and forbid 
what is wrong and hasten to good 
deeds. And those are among the righ- 
teous. 

115. And whatever good they do — never 
will it be removed from them. And 
God is Knowing of the righteous. 

116. Indeed, those who disbelieve - never 
will their wealth or their children avail 
them against God at all, and those are 
the companions of the Fire; they will 
abide therein eternally. 

117. The example of what they spend in this 
worldly life is like that of a wind con- 
taining frost which strikes the harvest 
of a people who have wronged them- 
selves [i.e., sinned] and destroys it. And 
God has not wronged them, but they 
wrong themselves. 

118. O you who have believed, do not take 
as intimates those other than your- 
selves, [i.e., believers], for they will not 
spare you [any] ruin. They wish you 
would have hardship. Hatred has al- 
ready appeared from their mouths, and 
what their breasts conceal is greater. 
We have certainly made clear to you the 
signs, if you will use reason. 

119. Here you are loving them but they are 
not loving you, while you believe in the 
Scripture — all of it. 126 And when they 
meet you, they say, "We believe." But 
when they are alone, they bite their fin- 
gertips at you in rage. Say, "Die in your 



126 That of it revealed by God, not what was sub- 
sequently altered by men. 



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rage. Indeed, God is Knowing of that 
within the breasts." 

120. If good touches you, it distresses them; 
but if harm strikes you, they rejoice at 
it. And if you are patient and fear God, 
their plot will not harm you at all. In- 
deed, God is encompassing of what 
they do. 

121. And [remember] when you, [O Mu- 
hammad] , left your family in the morn- 
ing to post the believers at their stations 
for the batde [of Uhud] - and God is 
Hearing and Knowing - 

122. When two parties among you were 
about to lose courage, but God was 
their ally; and upon God the believers 
should rely. 

123. And already had God given you victory 
at [the batde of] Badr while you were 
weak [i.e., few in number]. Then fear 
God; perhaps you will be grateful. 

124. [Remember] when you said to the be- 
lievers, "Is it not sufficient for you that 
your Lord should reinforce you with 
three thousand angels sent down? 

125. Yes, if you remain patient and con- 
scious of God and they [i.e., the enemy] 
come upon you [attacking] in rage, your 
Lord will reinforce you with five thou- 
sand angels having marks [of distinc- 
tion]." 

126. And God made it not except as [a sign 
of] good tidings for you and to reassure 
your hearts thereby. And victory is not 
except from God, the Exalted in Might, 
the Wise - 

127. That He might cut down a section of 
the disbelievers or suppress them so 
that they turn back disappointed. 



128. Not for you, [O Muhammad, but for 
God], is the decision whether He 
should [cut them down] or forgive 
them or punish them, for indeed, they 
are wrongdoers. 

129. And to God belongs whatever is in the 
heavens and whatever is on the earth. 
He forgives whom He wills and pu- 
nishes whom He wills. And God is 
Forgiving and Merciful. 

130. O you who have believed, do not con- 
sume usury, doubled and multiplied, 
but fear God that you may be success- 
ful. 

131. And fear the Fire, which has been pre- 
pared for the disbelievers. 

132. And obey God and the Messenger that 
you may obtain mercy. 

133. And hasten to forgiveness from your 
Lord and a garden [i.e., Paradise] as 
wide as the heavens and earth, prepared 
for the righteous 

1 34. Who spend [in the cause of God] dur- 
ing ease and hardship and who restrain 
anger and who pardon the people - and 
God loves the doers of good; 

135. And those who, when they commit an 
immorality or wrong themselves [by 
transgression], remember God and seek 
forgiveness for their sins — and who can 
forgive sins except God? — and [who] 
do not persist in what they have done 
while they know. 

136. Those — their reward is forgiveness 
from their Lord and gardens beneath 
which rivers flow [in Paradise], wherein 
they will abide eternally; and excellent is 
the reward of the [righteous] workers. 



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137. Similar situations [as yours] have passed 
on before you, so proceed throughout 
the earth and observe how was the end 
of those who denied. 

138. This [Qur'an] is a clear statement to 
[all] the people and a guidance and in- 
struction for those conscious of God. 

139. So do not weaken and do not grieve, 
and you will be superior if you are 
[true] believers. 

140. If a wound should touch you — there 
has already touched the [opposing] 
people a wound similar to it. And these 
days [of varying conditions] We alter- 
nate among the people so that God 
may make evident those who believe 
and [may] take to Himself from among 
you martyrs — and God does not like 
the wrongdoers — 

141. And that God may purify the believers 
[through trials] and destroy the disbe- 
lievers. 

142. Or do you think that you will enter Pa- 
radise while God has not yet made evi- 
dent those of you who fight in His 
cause and made evident those who are 
steadfast? 

143. And you had certainly wished for death 
[i.e., martyrdom] before you encoun- 
tered it, and you have [now] seen it [be- 
fore you] while you were looking on. 

144. Muhammad is not but a messenger. 
[Other] messengers have passed on be- 
fore him. So if he was to die or be 
killed, would you turn back on your 
heels [to unbelief]? And he who turns 
back on his heels will never harm God 
at all; but God will reward the grateful. 



145. And it is not [possible] for one to die 
except by permission of God at a de- 
cree determined. And whoever desires 
the reward of this world — We will give 
him thereof; and whoever desires the 
reward of the Hereafter — We will give 
him thereof. And we will reward the 
grateful. 

146. And how many a prophet [fought and] 
with him fought many religious scho- 
lars. But they never lost assurance due 
to what afflicted them in the cause of 
God, nor did they weaken or submit. 
And God loves the steadfast. 

147. And their words were not but that they 
said, "Our Lord, forgive us our sins and 
the excess [committed] in our affairs 
and plant firmly our feet and give us 
victory over the disbelieving people." 

148. So God gave them the reward of this 
world and the good reward of the He- 
reafter. And God loves the doers of 
good. 

149. O you who have believed, if you obey 
those who disbelieve, they will turn you 
back on your heels, and you will [then] 
become losers. 

150. But God is your protector, and He is 
the best of helpers. 

151. We will cast terror into the hearts of 
those who disbelieve for what they 
have associated with God of which He 
had not sent down [any] authority. And 
their refuge will be the Fire, and 
wretched is the residence of the wrong- 
doers. 

152. And God had certainly fulfilled His 
promise to you when you were killing 
them [i.e., the enemy] by His permis- 
sion until [the time] when you lost cou- 



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rage and fell to disputing about the or- 
der [given by the Prophet] and dis- 
obeyed after He had shown you that 
which you love. 127 Among you are 
some who desire this world, and among 
you are some who desire the Hereafter. 
Then he turned you back from them 
[defeated] that He might test you. And 
He has already forgiven you, and God 
is the possessor of bounty for the be- 
lievers. 

153. [Remember] when you [fled and] 
climbed [the mountain] without looking 
aside at anyone while the Messenger 
was calling you from behind. So God 
repaid you with distress upon distress 
so you would not grieve for that which 
had escaped you [of victory and spoils 
of war] or [for] that which had befallen 
you [of injury and death]. And God is 
[fully] Acquainted with what you do. 

154. Then after distress, He sent down upon 
you security [in the form of] drowsi- 
ness, overcoming a faction of you, 
while another faction worried about 
themselves, thinking of God other than 
the truth — the thought of ignorance, 
saying, "Is there anything for us [to 
have done] in this matter?" Say, "In- 
deed, the matter belongs completely to 
God." They conceal within themselves 
what they will not reveal to you. They 
say, "If there was anything we could 
have done in the matter, we [i.e., some 
of us] would not have been killed right 
here." Say, "Even if you had been in- 
side your houses, those decreed to be 
killed would have come out to their 
death beds." [It was] so that God might 
test what is in your breasts and purify 
what is in your hearts. And God is 
Knowing of that within the breasts. 



127 i.e., the spoils of war. 



155. Indeed, those of you who turned back 
on the day the two armies met [at 
Uhud] - it was Satan who caused them 
to slip because of some [blame] they 
had earned. But God has already forgi- 
ven them. Indeed, God is Forgiving 
and Forbearing. 

156. O you who have believed, do not be 
like those who disbelieved and said 
about their brothers when they traveled 
through the land or went out to fight, 
"If they had been with us, they would 
not have died or have been killed," so 
God makes that [misconception] a re- 
gret within their hearts. And it is God 
who gives life and causes death, and 
God is Seeing of what you do. 

157. And if you are killed in the cause of 
God or die — then forgiveness from 
God and mercy are better than whatev- 
er they accumulate [in this world] . 

158. And whether you die or are killed, unto 
God you will be gathered. 

159. So by mercy from God, [O Muham- 
mad], you were lenient with them. And 
if you had been rude [in speech] and 
harsh in heart, they would have dis- 
banded from about you. So pardon 
them and ask forgiveness for them and 
consult them in the matter. And when 
you have decided, then rely upon God. 
Indeed, God loves those who rely 
[upon Him], 

160. If God should aid you, no one can 
overcome you; but if He should forsake 
you, who is there that can aid you after 
Him? And upon God let the believers 
rely. 

161. It is not [attributable] to any prophet 
that he would act unfaithfully [in regard 
to war booty]. And whoever betrays, 



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[taking unlawfully], will come with what 
he took on the Day of Resurrection. 
Then will every soul be [fully] compen- 
sated for what it earned, and they will 
not be wronged. 

162. So is one who pursues the pleasure of 
God like one who brings upon himself 
the anger of God and whose refuge is 
Hell? And wretched is the destination. 

163. They are [varying] degrees in the sight 
of God, and God is Seeing of whatever 
they do. 

164. Certainly did God confer [great] favor 
upon the believers when He sent 
among them a Messenger from them- 
selves, reciting to them His verses and 
purifying them and teaching them the 
Book [i.e., the Qur'an] and wisdom, 128 
although they had been before in ma- 
nifest error. 

165. Why [is it that] when a [single] disaster 
struck you [on the day of Uhud], al- 
though you had struck [the enemy in 
the battle of Badr] with one twice as 
great, you said, "From where is this?" 
Say, "It is from yourselves [i.e., due to 
your sin]." Indeed, God is over all 
things competent. 

166. And what struck you on the day the 
two armies met [at Uhud] was by per- 
mission of God that He might make 
evident the [true] believers 

167. And that He might make evident those 
who are hypocrites. For it was said to 
them, "Come, fight in the way of God 
or [at least] defend." They said, "If we 
had known [there would be] fighting, 
we would have followed you." They 
were nearer to disbelief that day than to 



faith, saying with their mouths what 
was not in their hearts. And God is 
most Knowing of what they conceal — 

168. Those who said about their brothers 
while sitting [at home], "If they had ob- 
eyed us, they would not have been 
killed." Say, "Then prevent death from 
yourselves, if you should be truthful." 

169. And never think of those who have 
been killed in the cause of God as dead. 
Rather, they are alive with their Lord, 
receiving provision, 

170. Rejoicing in what God has bestowed 
upon them of His bounty, and they re- 
ceive good tidings about those [to be 
martyred] after them who have not yet 
joined them — that there will be no fear 
concerning them, nor will they grieve. 

171. They receive good tidings of favor 
from God and bounty and [of the fact] 
that God does not allow the reward of 
believers to be lost — 

172. Those [believers] who responded to 
God and the Messenger after injury had 
struck them. For those who did good 
among them and feared God is a great 
reward — 

173. Those to whom people [i.e., hypocrites] 
said, "Indeed, the people have gathered 
against you, so fear them." But it [mere- 
ly] increased them in faith, and they 
said, "Sufficient for us is God, and [He 
is] the best Disposer of affairs." 

174. So they returned with favor from God 
and bounty, no harm having touched 
them. And they pursued the pleasure of 
God, and God is the possessor of great 
bounty. 



128 The Prophet's sunnah (examples and sayings) 



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175. That is only Satan who frightens [you] 
of his supporters. So fear them not, but 
fear Me, if you are [indeed] believers. 

176. And do not be grieved, [O Muham- 
mad], by those who hasten into disbe- 
lief. Indeed, they will never harm God 
at all. God intends that He should give 
them no share in the Hereafter, and for 
them is a great punishment. 

177. Indeed, those who purchase disbelief 
[in exchange] for faith — never will they 
harm God at all, and for them is a pain- 
ful punishment. 

178. And let not those who disbelieve ever 
think that [because] We extend their 
time [of enjoyment] it is better for 
them. We only extend it for them so 
that they may increase in sin, and for 
them is a humiliating punishment. 

179. God would not leave the believers in 
that [state] you are in [presendy] until 
He separates the evil from the good. 
Nor would God reveal to you the un- 
seen. But [instead], God chooses of His 
messengers whom He wills, so believe 
in God and His messengers. And if you 
believe and fear Him, then for you is a 
great reward. 

180. And let not those who [greedily] with- 
hold what God has given them of His 
bounty ever think that it is better for 
them. Rather, it is worse for them. 
Their necks will be encircled by what 
they withheld on the Day of Resurrec- 
tion. And to God belongs the heritage 
of the heavens and the earth. And God, 
with what you do, is [fully] Acquainted. 

181. God has certainly heard the statement 
of those [Jews] who said, "Indeed, God 
is poor, while we are rich." We will 
record what they said and their killing 



of the prophets without right and will 
say, "Taste the punishment of the 
Burning Fire. 

182. That is for what your hands have put 
forth and because God is not ever un- 
just to [His] servants." 

183. [They are] those who said, "Indeed, 
God has taken our promise not to be- 
lieve any messenger until he brings us 
an offering which fire [from heaven] 
will consume." Say, "There have al- 
ready come to you messengers before 
me with clear proofs and [even] that of 
which you speak. So why did you kill 
them, if you should be truthful?" 

1 84. Then if they deny you, [O Muhammad] 
— so were messengers denied before 
you, who brought clear proofs and 
written ordinances and the enlightening 
Scripture. 129 

185. Every soul will taste death, and you will 
only be given your [full] compensation 
on the Day of Resurrection. So he who 
is drawn away from the Fire and admit- 
ted to Paradise has attained [his desire]. 
And what is the life of this world ex- 
cept the enjoyment of delusion. 

186. You will surely be tested in your pos- 
sessions and in yourselves. And you will 
surely hear from those who were given 
the Scripture before you and from 
those who associate others with God 
much abuse. But if you are patient and 
fear God — indeed, that is of the mat- 
ters [worthy] of determination. 

187. And [mention, O Muhammad], when 
God took a covenant from those who 
were given the Scripture, [saying], "You 



129 The unaltered, original Torah and Gospel, 
which were revealed by God. 



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189. 



must make it clear [i.e., explain it] to the 
people and not conceal it." But they 
threw it away behind their backs and 
exchanged it for a small price. And 
wretched is that which they purchased. 

And never think that those who rejoice 
in what they have perpetrated and like 
to be praised for what they did not do - 
never think them [to be] in safety from 
the punishment, and for them is a pain- 
ful punishment. 

And to God belongs the dominion of 
the heavens and the earth, and God is 
over all things competent. 



190. Indeed, in the creation of the heavens 
and the earth and the alternation of the 
night and the day are signs for those of 
understanding - 

191. Who remember God while standing or 
sitting or Pying] on their sides and give 
thought to the creation of the heavens 
and the earth, [saying], "Our Lord, You 
did not create this aimlessly; exalted are 
You [above such a thing]; then protect 
us from the punishment of the Fire. 

192. Our Lord, indeed whoever You admit 
to the Fire — You have disgraced him, 
and for the wrongdoers there are no 
helpers. 

193. Our Lord, indeed we have heard a call- 
er [i.e., Prophet Muhammad] calling to 
faith, [saying], 'Believe in your Lord,' 
and we have believed. Our Lord, so 
forgive us our sins and remove from us 
our misdeeds and cause us to die with 
the righteous. 



Resurrection. Indeed, You do not fail in 
[Your] promise." 

195. And their Lord responded to them, 
"Never will I allow to be lost the work 
of [any] worker among you, whether 
male or female; you are of one another. 
So those who emigrated or were 
evicted from their homes or were 
harmed in My cause or fought or were 
killed — I will surely remove from them 
their misdeeds, and I will surely admit 
them to gardens beneath which rivers 
flow as reward from God, and God has 
with Him the best reward." 

196. Be not deceived by the [uninhibited] 
movement of the disbelievers through- 
out the land. 

197. [It is but] a small enjoyment; then their 
[final] refuge is Hell, and wretched is 
the resting place. 

198. But those who feared their Lord will 
have gardens beneath which rivers 
flow, abiding eternally therein, as ac- 
commodation from God. And that 
which is with God is best for the righ- 
teous. 

199. And indeed, among the People of the 
Scripture are those who believe in God 
and what was revealed to you and what 
was revealed to them, [being] humbly 
submissive to God. They do not ex- 
change the verses of God for a small 
price. Those will have their reward with 
their Lord. Indeed, God is swift in ac- 
count. 



194. Our Lord, and grant us what You 
promised us through Your messengers 
and do not disgrace us on the Day of 



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200. O you who have believed, persevere 130 
and endure 131 and remain stationed 132 
and fear God that you may be success- 
ful. 



130 In your religion and in the face of your ene- 
mies. 

131 In patience, outlasting your enemies, and 
against your own evil inclinations. 

132 Posted at your positions against the enemy or 
in the mosques, awaiting prayers. 

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Surah 4: an-Nisa' 
Period of Revelation 

This Surah comprises several discourses which were revealed on different occasions during the period rang- 
ing probably between the end of year 3 A.H. (After Hijrah [migration] from Makkah to Madinah) and the 
end of 4 A.H. or the beginning of 5 A.H. Although it is difficult to determine the exact dates of their revela- 
tions it is possible to assign to them a fairly correct period with the help of the Commandments and the 
events mentioned therein and the Traditions concerning them. A few instances are given below by way of 
illustration: 

1 . We know that the instructions about the division of inheritance of the martyrs and for the safe- 
guard of the rights of the orphans were sent down after the Battle of Uhud in which 70 Muslims 
were killed. Then naturally the question of the division of the inheritance of the martyrs and the sa- 
feguard of the rights of their orphans arose in many families at Madinah. From this we conclude 
that v. 1 -28 were revealed on that occasion. 

2. We learn from the Traditions that the Commandment about Salah (prayer) during war time was 
given on the occasion of the Zat-ur-Riqa'aan expedition which took place in 4 A.H. From this we 
conclude that the discourse containing v. 102 was revealed on that occasion 

3. The last warning (v. 47) to the Jews was given before the Banu-Nadheer were exiled from Madinah 
in Rabi'-ulAwwal 4 A.H. From this it may safely be concluded that the discourse containing v. 47 
must have been revealed some time before that date. 

4. The permission about tayammum(the performance of ablutions with pure dust in case no water be 
available) was given during the Bani-al-Mustaliq expedition which took place in 5 A.H. Therefore 
the probable period of the revelation of the discourse containing v. 43 was 5 A.H. 

Topics and Their Background 

Let us now consider the social and historical considerations of the period in order to understand the Surah. 
All the discourses in this Surah deal with three main problems which confronted the Prophet at the time. 
First of all he was engaged in bringing about an all round development of the Islamic Community that had 
been formed at the time of his migration to Madinah. For this purpose he was introducing new moral cultur- 
al social economic and political ways in place of the old ones of the pre-Islamic period. The second thing 
that occupied his attention and efforts was the bitter struggle that was going on with the polytheist Arabs, the 
Jewish clans and the hypocrites who were opposing tooth and nail his mission of reform. Above all he had to 
propagate Islam in the face of the bitter opposition of these powers of evil with a view to capturing more 
and more minds and hearts. 

Accordingly detailed instructions have been given for the consolidation and strengthening of the Islamic 
Community in continuation of those given in Al-Baqarah. Principles for the smooth running of family life 
have been laid down and ways of settling family disputes have been taught. Rules have been prescribed for 
marriage and rights of wife and husband have been apportioned fairly and equitably. The status of women in 
the society has been determined and the declaration of the rights of orphans has been made. Laws and regu- 
lations have been laid down for the division of inheritance and instructions have been given to reform eco- 
nomic affairs. The foundation of the penal code has been laid down, drinking has been prohibited and in- 
structions have been given for cleanliness and purity. The Muslims have been taught the kind of relations 
good men should have with their God and fellow men. Instructions have been given for the maintenance of 
discipline in the Muslim Community. 

The moral and religious condition of the people of the Book has been reviewed to teach lessons to the Mus- 
lims and to forewarn them to refrain from following in their footsteps. The conduct of the hypocrites has 
been criticized and the distinctive features of hypocrisy and true faith have been clearly marked off to enable 
the Muslims to distinguish between the two. In order to cope with the aftermath of the Battle of Uhud In- 

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spiring discourses were sent down to urge the Muslims to face the enemy bravely for the defeat in the Battle 
had so emboldened the polytheist Arab clans and the neighboring Jews and the hypocrites at home that they 
were threatening the Muslims on all sides. At this critical juncture God filled the Muslims with courage and 
gave them such instructions as were needed during that period of war clouds. In order to counteract the fear- 
ful rumors that were being spread by the hypocrites and the Muslims of weak faith they were asked to make 
a thorough enquiry into them and to inform the responsible people about them. Then they were experienc- 
ing some difficulties in offering their salat during the expeditions to some places where no water was availa- 
ble for performing their ablutions etc. In such cases they were allowed to cleanse themselves with pure earth 
and to shorten the salat or to offer the "Salat of Fear" when they were faced with danger. Instructions were 
also given for the solution of the puzzling problem of those Muslims who were scattered among the unbe- 
lieving Arab clans and were often involved in war. They were asked to migrate to Madinah the abode of 
Islam. 

This Surah also deals with the case of Banu Nadir who were showing a hostile and menacing attitude in spite 
of the peace treaties they had made with the Muslims. They were openly siding with the enemies of Islam 
and hatching plots against the Prophet and the Muslim Community even at Madinah itself. They were taken 
to task for their inimical behavior and given a final warning to change their attitude and were at last exiled 
from Madinah on account of their misconduct. 

The problem of the hypocrites, who had become very troublesome at that time, was involving the Believers 
in difficulties. Therefore they were divided into different categories to enable the Muslims to deal with them 
appropriately. Clear instructions were also given regarding the attitude they should adopt towards the non- 
belligerent clans. The most important thing needed at that time was to prepare the Muslims for the bitter 
struggle with the opponents of Islam. For this purpose greatest importance was attached to their character 
building, for it was obvious that the small Muslim Community could only come out successful, nay, survive, 
if the Muslims possessed high moral character. They were, therefore, enjoined to adopt the highest moral 
qualities and were severely criticized whenever any moral weakness was detected in them. 

Though this Surah mainly deals with the moral and social reforms, yet due attention has been paid to propa- 
gation of Islam. On the one hand, the superiority of the Islamic morality and culture has been established 
over that of the Jews, Christians and polytheists; on the other hand, their wrong religious conceptions, their 
wrong morality and their evil acts have been criticized to prepare the ground for inviting them to the way of 
the Truth 

Subject: Consolidation of the Islamic Community 

The main object of this Surah is to teach the Muslims the ways that unite a people and make them firm and 
strong. Introductions for the stability of family, which is the nucleus of community have been given. Then 
they have been urged to prepare themselves for defense. Side by side with these, they have been taught the 
importance of the propagation of Islam. Above all, the importance of the highest moral character in the 
scheme of consolidation of the Community has been impressed. 



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Surah 4: an-Nisa' 133 

In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, 
the Most Merciful 

1. O mankind, fear your Lord, who 
created you from one soul and created 
from it its mate and dispersed from 
both of them many men and women. 
And fear God, through whom 134 you 
ask one another, 135 and the wombs. 136 
Indeed God is ever, 137 over you, an 
Observer. 

2. And give to the orphans their proper- 
ties and do not substitute the defective 
[of your own] for the good [of theirs]. 
And do not consume their properties 
into your own. Indeed, that is ever a 
great sin. 

3. And if you fear that you will not deal 
justly with the orphan girls, then marry 
those that please you of [other] women, 
two or three or four. But if you fear 
that you will not be just, then [marry 
only] one or those your right hands 
possesses [i.e., slaves]. That is more 
suitable that you may not incline [to in- 
justice]. 

4. And give the women [upon marriage] 
their [bridal] gifts 138 graciously. But if 
they give up willingly to you anything 



133 An-Nisa': The Women. 

134 In whose name. 

135 i.e., request favours and demand rights. 

136 i.e., fear God in regard to relations of kinship. 

137 When used in conjunction with God's 
attributes, the word "ever" (occurring repeatedly 
throughout this surah and elsewhere, such as in 
Surah al-Ah^ab) is quite inadequate in imparting 
the sense of continuation expressed by the word 
"kana" in Arabic, which indicates "always was, is, 
and always will be." 

138 The obligatory bridal gift i 



of it, then take it in satisfaction and 



ease 



13') 



And do not give the weak-minded your 
property, 140 which God has made a 
means of sustenance for you, but pro- 
vide for them with it and clothe them 
and speak to them words of appropri- 
ate kindness. 

And test the orphans [in their abilities] 
until they reach marriageable age. Then 
if you perceive in them sound judge- 
ment, release their property to them. 
And do not consume it excessively and 
quickly, [anticipating] that they will 
grow up. And whoever, [when acting as 
guardian], is self-sufficient should re- 
frain [from taking a fee]; and whoever 
is poor - let him take according to what 
is acceptable. Then when you release 
their property to them, bring witnesses 
upon them. And sufficient is God as 
Accountant. 

For men is a share of what the parents 
and close relatives leave, and for wom- 
en is a share of what the parents and 
close relatives leave, be it little or much 
- an obligatory share. 

And when [other] relatives and orphans 
and the needy are present at the [time 
of] division, then provide for them 
[something] out of it [i.e., the estate] 
and speak to them words of appropri- 
ate kindness. 

And let those [executors and guardians] 
fear [injustice] as if they [themselves] 
had left weak offspring behind and 



139 Knowing that it is lawful. 

140 Although it is their property, God refers to it 
in the collective sense, reminding us that all 
wealth is provided by Him for the maintenance 
of the community as well as of individual mem- 
bers. 

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feared for them. So let them fear God 
and speak words of appropriate justice. 

10. Indeed, those who devour the property 
of orphans unjustly are only consuming 
into their bellies fire. And they will be 
burned in a Blaze [i.e., Hellfire]. 

11. God instructs you concerning your 
children [i.e., their portions of inherit- 
ance]: for the male, what is equal to the 
share of two females. But if there are 
[only] daughters, two or more, for them 
is two thirds of one's estate. 141 And if 
there is only one, for her is half. And 
for one's parents, to each one of them 
is a sixth of his estate if he left children. 
But if he had no children and the par- 
ents [alone] inherit from him, then for 
his mother is one third. And if he had 
brothers [and/or sisters], for his moth- 
er is a sixth, 142 after any bequest he 
[may have] made or debt. 143 Your par- 
ents or your children - you know not 
which of them are nearest to you in 
benefit. [These shares are] an obligation 
[imposed] by God. Indeed, God is ever 
Knowing and Wise. 

12. And for you is half of what your wives 
leave if they have no child. But if they 
have a child, for you is one fourth of 
what they leave, after any bequest they 
[may have] made or debt. And for them 
[i.e., the wives] is one fourth if you 
leave no child. But if you leave a child, 



then for them is an eighth of what you 
leave, after any bequest you [may have] 
made or debt. And if a man or woman 
leaves neither ascendants nor descen- 
dants but has a brother or a sister, then 
for each one of them is a sixth. But if 
they are more than two, they share a 
third, 144 after any bequest which was 
made or debt, as long as there is no de- 
triment [caused]. 145 [This is] an ordin- 
ance from God, and God is Knowing 
and Forbearing. 

13. These are the limits [set by] God, and 
whoever obeys God and His Messenger 
will be admitted by Him to gardens [in 
Paradise] under which rivers flow, abid- 
ing eternally therein; and that is the 
great attainment. 

14. And whoever disobeys God and His 
Messenger and transgresses His limits - 
He will put him into the Fire to abide 
eternally therein, and he will have a 
humiliating punishment. 

15. Those who commit immorality [i.e., 
unlawful sexual intercourse] of your 
women - bring against them four [wit- 
nesses] from among you. And if they 
testify, 146 confine them [i.e., the guilty 
women] to houses until death takes 
them or God ordains for them [anoth- 
er] way. 147 



141 Literally, "that which he left." 

142 Although the siblings themselves do not inhe- 
rit in this case. 

143 Based upon prophetic hadiths, scholars have 
ruled that debt takes precedent over a bequest, 
that a bequest may not include any who inherit by 
law, and that the total bequest may not be more 
than one third of one's estate. After the fulfill- 
ment of debts and bequests (if any), the remaind- 
er of the estate is to be divided according to the 
ordinances in this surah. 



144 These shares are divided equally between 
males and females. 

145 This is a condition for any bequest. If it has 
been violated by the deceased, his bequest is not 
to be honoured, or it may be adjusted by the ex- 
ecutor. See 2:182. 

146 The witnesses must swear to actually having 
seen the act taking place. 

147 The "other way" (i.e., penalty) was later re- 
vealed in 24:2, cancelling the ruling in this verse. 

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16. And the two 148 who commit it [i.e., un- 21. 
lawful sexual intercourse] among you — 
punish [i.e., dishonour] them both. But 

if they repent and correct themselves, 
leave them alone. Indeed, God is ever 
Accepting of repentance and Merciful. 22. 

17. The repentance accepted by God is 
only for those who do wrong in ignor- 
ance [or carelessness] and then repent 
soon after. It is those to whom God 

will turn in forgiveness, and God is ev- 23. 

er Knowing and Wise. 

18. But repentance is not [accepted] of 
those who [continue to] do evil deeds 
up until, when death comes to one of 
them, he says, "Indeed, I have repented 
now," or of those who die while they 
are disbelievers. For them We have 
prepared a painful punishment. 

19. O you who have believed, it is not law- 
ful for you to inherit women by com- 
pulsion. 149 And do not make difficulties 
for them in order to take [back] part of 
what you gave them 150 unless they 
commit a clear immorality [i.e., adul- 
tery]. And live with them in kindness. 

For if you dislike them - perhaps you 24. 

dislike a thing and God makes therein 
much good. 

20. But if you want to replace one wife 
with another and you have given one of 
them a great amount [in gifts], do not 
take [back] from it anything. Would you 
take it in injustice and manifest sin? 



And how could you take it while you 
have gone in unto each other and they 
have taken from you a solemn cove- 
nant? 

And do not marry those [women] 
whom your fathers married, except 
what has already occurred. 151 Indeed, it 
was an immorality and hateful [to God] 
and was evil as a way. 

Prohibited to you [for marriage] are 
your mothers, your daughters, your sis- 
ters, your father's sisters, your mother's 
sisters, your brother's daughters, your 
sister's daughters, your [milk] mothers 
who nursed you, your sisters through 
nursing, your wives' mothers, and your 
step-daughters under your guardianship 
[born] of your wives unto whom you 
have gone in. But if you have not gone 
in unto them, there is no sin upon you. 
And [also prohibited are] the wives of 
your sons who are from your [own] 
loins, and that you take [in marriage] 
two sisters simultaneously, except for 
what has already occurred. 152 Indeed, 
God is ever Forgiving and Merciful. 

And [also prohibited to you are all] 
married women except those your right 
hands possess. 153 [This is] the decree of 
God upon you. And lawful to you are 
[all others] beyond these, [provided] 
that you seek them [in marriage] with 
[gifts from] your property, desiring 
chastity, not unlawful sexual inter- 
course. So for whatever you enjoy [of 



148 Scholars differ over whether "the two" refers 
to two of the same sex (i.e., homosexuals) or 
those of opposite sexes. In either case, later rul- 
ings outlined in the sunnah have replaced this one. 

149 The deceased man's heirs have no rights of 
marriage or otherwise over his widow. 

150 At the time of marriage as mahr. 



151 Before Islam. After the ruling was revealed by 
God, men were required to release those women 
unlawful to them (e.g., a stepmother, one of two 
sisters, or any wives over the limit of four). The 
same obligation applies to one once he has ac- 
cepted Islam. 

152 See previous footnote. 

153 i.e., slaves or war captives who had pofytheist 
husbands. 



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marriage] from them, give them their 
due compensation 154 as an obligation. 
And there is no blame upon you for 
what you mutually agree to beyond the 
obligation. Indeed, God is ever Know- 
ing and Wise. 



29. O you who have believed, do not con- 
sume one another's wealth unjustly 155 
but only [in lawful] business by mutual 
consent. And do not kill yourselves [or 
one another] . Indeed, God is to you ev- 
er Merciful. 



25. And whoever among you cannot [find] 30. 
the means to marry free, believing 
women, then [he may marry] from 

those whom your right hands possess 
of believing slave girls. And God is 
most knowing about your faith. You 31. 

[believers] are of one another. So marry 
them with the permission of their 
people and give them their due com- 
pensation [i.e., mahr] according to what 
is acceptable. [They should be] chaste, 32. 

neither [of] those who commit unlawful 
intercourse randomly nor those who 
take [secret] lovers. But once they are 
sheltered in marriage, if they should 
commit adultery, then for them is half 
the punishment for free [unmarried] 
women. This [allowance] is for him 
among you who fears affliction [i.e., 33. 

sin], but to be patient is better for you. 
And God is Forgiving and Merciful. 

26. God wants to make clear to you [the 
lawful from the unlawful] and guide 
you to the [good] practices of those be- 
fore you and to accept your repentance. 34. 
And God is Knowing and Wise. 

27. God wants to accept your repentance, 
but those who follow [their] passions 
want you to digress [into] a great devia- 
tion. 



And whoever does that in aggression 
and injustice - then We will drive him 
into a Fire. And that, for God, is [al- 
ways] easy. 

If you avoid the major sins which you 
are forbidden, We will remove from 
you your lesser sins and admit you to a 
noble entrance [into Paradise] . 

And do not wish for that by which God 
has made some of you exceed others. 
For men is a share of what they have 
earned, and for women is a share of 156 
what they have earned. And ask God of 
His bounty. Indeed God is ever, of all 
things, Knowing. 

And for all, We have made heirs to 
what is left by parents and relatives. 
And to those whom your oaths have 
bound [to you] - give them their 
share. 157 Indeed God is ever, over all 
things, a Witness. 

Men are in charge of women 158 by 
[right of] what God has given one over 
the other and what they spend [for 
maintenance] from their wealth. So 
righteous women are devoutly ob- 
edient, guarding in [the husband's] ab- 
sence what God would have them 



28. And God wants to lighten for you 
[your difficulties]; and mankind was 
created weak. 



154 The mahr, a specified gift to the bride required 
of the man upon marriage. 



155 i.e., unlawfully or under false pretence. 

156 This may refer to shares of inheritance, wages 
and reward in the Hereafter. 

157 By bequest, as only those relatives mentioned 
in verses 11 and 12 inherit fixed shares. 

158 This applies primarily to the husband-wife 
relationship. 

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guard. 159 But those [wives] from whom 
you fear arrogance - [first] advise them; 
[then if they persist], forsake them in 
bed; and [finally], strike them. 160 But if 
they obey you [once more], seek no 
means against them. Indeed, God is ev- 
er Exalted and Grand. 

35. And if you fear dissension between the 
two, send an arbitrator from his people 
and an arbitrator from her people. If 
they both desire reconciliation, God 
will cause it between them. Indeed, 
God is ever Knowing and Acquainted 
[with all things]. 

36. Worship God and associate nothing 
with Him, and to parents do good, and 
to relatives, orphans, the needy, the 
near neighbor, the neighbor farther 
away, the companion at your side, 161 
the traveler, and those whom your right 
hands possess. Indeed, God does not 
like those who are self-deluding and 
boastful, 

37. Who are stingy and enjoin upon [other] 
people stinginess and conceal what 
God has given them of His bounty - 
and We have prepared for the disbe- 
lievers a humiliating punishment - 

38. And [also] those who spend of their 
wealth to be seen by the people and be- 
lieve not in God nor in the Last Day. 
And he to whom Satan is a companion 
- then evil is he as a companion. 

39. And what [harm would come] upon 
them if they believed in God and the 
Last Day and spent out of what God 



provided for them? And God is ever, 
about them, Knowing. 

40. Indeed, God does not do injustice, 
[even] as much as an atom's weight; 
while if there is a good deed, He mul- 
tiplies it and gives from Himself a great 
reward. 

41 . So how [will it be] when We bring from 
every nation a witness and We bring 
you, [O Muhammad], against these 
[people] as a witness? 

42. That Day, those who disbelieved and 
disobeyed the Messenger will wish they 
could be covered by the earth. And 
they will not conceal from God a [sin- 
gle] statement. 

43. O you who have believed, do not ap- 
proach prayer while you are intoxicated 
until you know what you are saying 162 
or in a state of janabah, 163 except those 
passing through [a place of prayer], un- 
til you have washed [your whole body] . 
And if you are ill or on a journey or one 
of you comes from the place of reliev- 
ing himself or you have contacted 
women [i.e., had sexual intercourse] and 
find no water, then seek clean earth and 
wipe over your faces and your hands 
[with it]. Indeed, God is ever Pardoning 
and Forgiving. 

44. Have you not seen those who were giv- 
en a portion of the Scripture, purchas- 
ing error [in exchange for it] and wish- 
ing you would lose the way? 



159 i.e., their husbands' property and their own 
chastity. 

160 As a last resort. It is unlawful to strike the face 
or to cause bodily injury. 

161 i.e., those whose acquaintance you have made. 
Also interpreted as the wife. 



162 The use of intoxicants was later prohibited 
completely. See 5:90-91. 

163 Literally, "distance." The state of one under 
obligation to perform ghusl (a complete bath) due 
to having had sexual intercourse or ejaculation. 



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45. And God is most knowing of your 
enemies; and sufficient is God as an al- 
ly, and sufficient is God as a helper. 

46. Among the Jews are those who distort 
words from their [proper] places [i.e., 
usages] and say, "We hear and disobey" 
and "Hear but be not heard" and 
"Ra'ina," 164 twisting their tongues and 
defaming the religion. And if they had 
said [instead], "We hear and obey" and 
"Wait for us [to understand]," it would 
have been better for them and more 
suitable. But God has cursed them for 
their disbelief, so they believe not, ex- 
cept for a few. 165 

47. O you who were given the Scripture, 
believe in what We have sent down [to 
Muhammad], confirming that which is 
with you, before We obliterate faces 
and turn them toward their backs or 
curse them as We cursed the sabbath- 
breakers. 166 And ever is the matter [i.e., 
decree] of God accomplished. 

48. Indeed, God does not forgive associa- 
tion with Him, but He forgives what is 
less than that for whom He wills. And 
he who associates others with God has 
certainly fabricated a tremendous sin. 



49. Have 



you not 



seen those who 



claim 
themselves to be pure? Rather, God 
purifies whom He wills, and injustice is 
not done to them, [even] as much as a 
thread [inside a date seed]. 

50. Look how they invent about God un- 
truth, and sufficient is that as a manifest 
sin. 

51. Have you not seen those who were giv- 
en a portion of the Scripture, who be- 

164 See footnote to 2:104. 

165 Or "except with little belief." 

166 See 7:163-166. 



lieve in jibt [superstition] and taghut 
[false objects of worship] and say about 
the disbelievers, "These are better 
guided than the believers as to the 
way ? 

52. Those are the ones whom God has 
cursed; and he whom God curses - 
never will you find for him a helper. 

53. Or have they a share of dominion? 
Then [if that were so], they would not 
give the people [even as much as] the 
speck on a date seed. 

54. Or do they envy people for what God 
has given them of His bounty? But We 
had already given the family of Abra- 
ham the Scripture and wisdom 167 and 
conferred upon them a great kingdom. 

55. And some among them believed in it, 168 
and some among them were averse to 
it. And sufficient is Hell as a bla2e. 

56. Indeed, those who disbelieve in Our 
verses - We will drive them into a fire. 
Every time their skins are roasted 
through We will replace them with oth- 
er skins so they may taste the punish- 
ment. Indeed, God is ever Exalted in 
Might and Wise. 

57. But those who believe and do righteous 
deeds - We will admit them to gardens 
beneath which rivers flow, wherein they 
abide forever. For them therein are pu- 
rified spouses, and We will admit them 
to deepening shade. 

58. Indeed, God commands you to render 
trusts to whom they are due and when 
you judge between people to judge with 
justice. Excellent is that which God in- 

167 Prophetic teachings. 

168 In what was given to them. Also interpreted as 
"in him," i.e., Muhammad. 

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structs you. Indeed, God is ever Hear- 
ing and Seeing. 

59. O you who have believed, obey God 
and obey the Messenger and those in 
authority among you. And if you disag- 
ree over anything, refer it to God and 
the Messenger, if you should believe in 
God and the Last Day. That is the best 
[way] and best in result. 

60. Have you not seen those who claim to 
have believed in what was revealed to 
you, [O Muhammad], and what was re- 
vealed before you? They wish to refer 
legislation to taghut, 169 while they were 
commanded to reject it; and Satan 
wishes to lead them far astray. 

61. And when it is said to them, "Come to 
what God has revealed and to the Mes- 
senger," you see the hypocrites turning 
away from you in aversion. 

62. So how [will it be] when disaster strikes 
them because of what their hands have 
put forth and then they come to you 
swearing by God, "We intended noth- 
ing but good conduct and accommoda- 
tion." 

63. Those are the ones of whom God 
knows what is in their hearts, so turn 
away from them 170 but admonish them 
and speak to them a far-reaching [i.e., 
effective] word. 

64. And We did not send any messenger 
except to be obeyed by permission of 
God. And if, when they wronged them- 
selves, they had come to you, [O Mu- 
hammad], and asked forgiveness of 
God and the Messenger had asked for- 
giveness for them, they would have 

169 False objects of worship or those transgressors 
who usurp the divine right of government. 

170 i.e., use not violence against them. 



65. 



66. 



67. 



68. 



69. 



70. 



71. 



72. 



73. 



found God Accepting of repentance 
and Merciful. 

But no, by your Lord, they will not [tru- 
ly] believe until they make you, [O Mu- 
hammad], judge concerning that over 
which they dispute among themselves 
and then find within themselves no dis- 
comfort from what you have judged 
and submit in [full, willing] submission. 

And if We had decreed upon them, 
"Kill yourselves" or "Leave your 
homes," they would not have done it, 
except for a few of them. But if they 
had done what they were instructed, it 
would have been better for them and a 
firmer position [for them in faith]. 

And then We would have given them 
from Us a great reward. 

And We would have guided them to a 
straight path. 

And whoever obeys God and the Mes- 
senger - those will be with the ones 
upon whom God has bestowed favor 
of the prophets, the steadfast affirmers 
of truth, the martyrs and the righteous. 
And excellent are those as companions. 

That is the bounty from God, and suf- 
ficient is God as Knower. 

O you who have believed, take your 
precaution and [either] go forth in 
companies or go forth all together. 

And indeed, there is among you he who 
lingers behind; and if disaster strikes 
you, he says, "God has favored me in 
that I was not present with them." 

But if bounty comes to you from God, 
he will surely say, as if [i.e., showing 
that] there had never been between you 



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and him any affection, "Oh, I wish I 
had been with them so I could have at- 
tained a great attainment." 171 

74. So let those fight in the cause of God 
who sell the life of this world for the 
Hereafter. And he who fights in the 
cause of God and is killed or achieves 
victory - We will bestow upon him a 
great reward. 

75. And what is [the matter] with you that 
you fight not in the cause of God and 
[for] the oppressed among men, wom- 
en, and children who say, "Our Lord, 
take us out of this city of oppressive 
people and appoint for us from Your- 
self a protector and appoint for us from 
Yourself a helper?" 

76. Those who believe fight in the cause of 
God, and those who disbelieve fight in 
the cause of taghut. 172 So fight against 
the allies of Satan. Indeed, the plot of 
Satan has ever been weak. 

77. Have you not seen those who were 
told, "Restrain your hands [from fight- 
ing] 173 and establish prayer and give 
zakah?" But then when fighting was 
ordained for them, at once a party of 
them feared men as they fear God or 
with [even] greater fear. They said, 
"Our Lord, why have You decreed 
upon us fighting? If only You had 
postponed [it for] us for a short time." 
Say, "The enjoyment of this world is lit- 
tle, and the Hereafter is better for he 
who fears God. And injustice will not 
be done to you, [even] as much as a 
thread [inside a date seed]." 

171 The spoils of war. Although having pretended 
to befriend the believers in support of God's 
religion, the hypocrite will not be willing to fight 
except for material gain. 

172 See footnote to 4:60. 

173 Before permission was given by God. 



78. Wherever you may be, death will over- 
take you, even if you should be within 
towers of lofty construction. But if 
good comes to them, they say, "This is 
from God"; and if evil befalls them, 
they say, 174 "This is from you." Say, 
"All [things] are from God." So what is 
[the matter] with those people that they 
can hardly understand any statement? 

79. What comes to you of good is from 
God, but what comes to you of evil, [O 
man], is from yourself. 175 And We have 
sent you, [O Muhammad], to the 
people as a messenger, and sufficient is 
God as Witness. 

80. He who obeys the Messenger has ob- 
eyed God; but those who turn away - 
We have not sent you over them as a 
guardian. 

81. And they say, "[We pledge] obedience." 
But when they leave you, a group of 
them spend the night determining to do 
other than what you say. But God 
records what they plan by night. So 
leave them alone and rely upon God. 
And sufficient is God as Disposer of 
affairs. 

82. Then do they not reflect upon the 
Qur'an? 176 If it had been from [any] 
other than God, they would have found 
within it much contradiction. 

83. And when there comes to them some- 
thing [i.e., information] about [public] 
security or fear, they spread it around. 
But if they had referred it back to the 
Messenger or to those of authority 
among them, then the ones who [can] 
draw correct conclusions from it would 
have known about it. And if not for the 

174 Addressing the Prophet. 

175 As a result of your mistakes or sins. 

176 



i.e., its meaning and its objective. 



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favor of God upon you and His mercy, 
you would have followed Satan, except 
for a few. 

84. So fight, [O Muhammad], in the cause 
of God; you are not held responsible 
except for yourself. And encourage the 
believers [to join you] that perhaps God 
will restrain the [military] might of 
those who disbelieve. And God is 
greater in might and stronger in [exem- 
plary] punishment. 177 

85. Whoever intercedes for a good cause 
will have a share [i.e., reward] there- 
from; and whoever intercedes for an 
evil cause will have a portion [i.e., bur- 
den] therefrom. And ever is God, over 
all things, a Keeper. 178 

86. And when you are greeted with a greet- 
ing, greet [in return] with one better 
than it or [at least] return it [in a like 
manner]. Indeed God is ever, over all 
things, an Accountant. 

87. God - there is no deity except Him. He 
will surely assemble you for [account 
on] the Day of Resurrection, about 
which there is no doubt. And who is 
more truthful than God in statement. 

88. What is [the matter] with you [that you 
are] two groups concerning the hypo- 
crites, 179 while God has made them fall 
back [into error and disbelief] for what 
they earned. 180 Do you wish to guide 
those whom God has sent astray? And 



177 God is able to defeat them in such a way as to 
deter others from attempting anything similar. 
ns Providing, protecting, witnessing, keeping 
precise records and capable of recompense. 

179 i.e., divided between two viewpoints - wheth- 
er or not they should be fought and killed. 

180 As the result of their disobedience and dis- 
loyalty. 



he whom God sends astray - never will 
you find for him a way [of guidance]. 181 

89. They wish you would disbelieve as they 
disbelieved so you would be alike. So 
do not take from among them allies un- 
til they emigrate for the cause of God. 
But if they turn away [i.e., refuse], then 
seize them and kill them wherever you 
find them and take not from among 
them any ally or helper, 

90. Except for those who take refuge with 
a people between yourselves and whom 
is a treaty or those who come to you, 
their hearts strained at [the prospect of] 
fighting you or fighting their own 
people. And if God had willed, He 
could have given them power over you, 
and they would have fought you. So if 
they remove themselves from you and 
do not fight you and offer you peace, 
then God has not made for you a cause 
[for fighting] against them. 

91 . You will find others who wish to obtain 
security from you and [to] obtain secu- 
rity from their people. Every time they 
are returned to [the influence of] disbe- 
lief, they fall back into it. So if they do 
not withdraw from you or offer you 
peace or restrain their hands, then seize 
them and kill them wherever you over- 
take them. And those - We have made 
for you against them a clear authoriza- 
tion. 

92. And never is it for a believer to kill a 
believer except by mistake. And 
whoever kills a believer by mistake - 
then the freeing of a believing slave and 
a compensation payment [diyah] pre- 
sented to his [i.e., the deceased's] family 
[is required], unless they give [up their 



181 God leaves or sends astray those who choose 
to reject His guidance. 



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right as] charity. But if he [i.e., the de- 
ceased] was from a people at war with 
you and he was a believer - then [only] 
the freeing of a believing slave; and if 
he was from a people with whom you 
have a treaty - then a compensation 
payment presented to his family and 
the freeing of a believing slave. And 
whoever does not find [one or cannot 
afford to buy one] - then [instead], a 
fast for two months consecutively, 182 
[seeking] acceptance of repentance 
from God. 183 And God is ever Know- 
ing and Wise. 

93. But whoever kills a believer intentional- 
ly - his recompense is Hell, wherein he 
will abide eternally, and God has be- 
come angry with him and has cursed 
him and has prepared for him a great 
punishment. 

94. O you who have believed, when you go 
forth [to fight] in the cause of God, in- 
vestigate; and do not say to one who 
gives you [a greeting of] peace, "You 
are not a believer," 184 aspiring for the 
goods of worldly life; for with God are 
many acquisitions. You [yourselves] 
were like that before; then God con- 
ferred His favor [i.e., guidance] upon 
you, so investigate. Indeed God is ever, 
with what you do, Acquainted. 

95. Not equal are those believers remaining 
[at home] - other than the disabled - 
and the mujahideen, [who strive and 
fight] in the cause of God with their 
wealth and their lives. God has pre- 



182 Uninterrupted except when there is an 
Islamicalfy valid reasons, as in Ramadhan, 

183 An accidental death usually results from some 
degree of negligence or error for which the be- 
liever feels the need to repent. 

184 Do not assume that he pretends Islam merely 
in order to save himself, for he may be sincere in 
faith. 



f erred the mujahideen through their 
wealth and their lives over those who 
remain [behind], by degrees. And to all 
[i.e., both] God has promised the best 
[reward]. But God has preferred the 
mujahideen over those who remain 
[behind] with a great reward - 

96. Degrees [of high position] from Him 
and forgiveness and mercy. And God is 
ever Forgiving and Merciful. 

97. Indeed, those whom the angels take [in 
death] while wronging themselves 185 - 
[the angels] will say, "In what [condi- 
tion] were you?" They will say, "We 
were oppressed in the land." They [the 
angels] will say, "Was not the earth of 
God spacious [enough] for you to emi- 
grate therein?" For those, their refuge is 
Hell - and evil it is as a destination. 

98. Except for the oppressed among men, 
women, and children who cannot de- 
vise a plan nor are they directed to a 

way 186 - 

99. For those it is expected that God will 
pardon them, and God is ever Pardon- 
ing and Forgiving. 

100. And whoever emigrates for the cause 
of God will find on the earth many [al- 
ternative] locations and abundance. 
And whoever leaves his home as an 
emigrant to God and His Messenger 
and then death overtakes him - his re- 
ward has already become incumbent 
upon God. And God is ever Forgiving 
and Merciful. 



185 By preferring to remain among the disbeliev- 
ers, although they have the means to emigrate, in 
an environment where a Muslim is unable to 
practice his religion freely. 

186 They are prevented by circumstances beyond 
their control. 

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101. And when you travel throughout the 
land, there is no blame upon you for 
shortening the prayer, 187 [especially] if 
you fear that those who disbelieve may 
disrupt [or attack] you. 188 Indeed, the 
disbelievers are ever to you a clear 
enemy. 

102. And when you [i.e., the commander of 
an army] are among them and lead 
them in prayer, 189 let a group of them 
stand [in prayer] with you and let them 
carry their arms. And when they have 
prostrated, let them be [in position] be- 
hind you and have the other group 
come forward which has not [yet] 
prayed and let them pray with you, tak- 
ing precaution and carrying their arms. 
Those who disbelieve wish that you 
would neglect your weapons and your 
baggage so they could come down 
upon you in one [single] attack. But 
there is no blame upon you, if you are 
troubled by rain or are ill, for putting 
down your arms, but take precaution. 
Indeed, God has prepared for the dis- 
believers a humiliating punishment. 

103. And when you have completed the 

prayer, remember God standing, sitting, 
or [lying] on your sides. But when you 
become secure, re-establish [regular] 
prayer. Indeed, prayer has been decreed 
upon the believers a decree of specified 
times. 



they expect not. And God is ever 
Knowing and Wise. 

105. Indeed, We have revealed to you, [O 
Muhammad], the Book in truth so you 
may judge between the people by that 
which God has shown you. And do not 
be for the deceitful an advocate. 

106. And seek forgiveness of God. Indeed, 
God is ever Forgiving and Merciful. 

107. And do not argue on behalf of those 
who deceive themselves. Indeed, God 
loves not one who is a habitually sinful 
deceiver. 

108. They conceal [their evil intentions and 
deeds] from the people, but they can- 
not conceal [them] from God, and He 
is with them [in His knowledge] when 
they spend the night in such as He does 
not accept of speech. And ever is God, 
of what they do, encompassing. 

109. Here you are - those who argue on their 
behalf in [this] worldly life - but who 
will argue with God for them on the 
Day of Resurrection, or who will [then] 
be their representative? 

110. And whoever does a wrong or wrongs 
himself but then seeks forgiveness of 
God will find God Forgiving and Mer- 
ciful. 



104. And do not weaken in pursuit of the 
enemy. If you should be suffering - so 
are they suffering as you are suffering, 
but you expect from God that which 



187 The four rak'ah prayers are shortened to two 
rak 'ahs. 

188 The example of the Prophet and his compa- 
nies illustrates that fear is not a condition for this 
allowance, merely travel. 

189 At time of fear on the battleground. 



111. And whoever earns [i.e., commits] a sin 
only earns it against himself. And God 
is ever Knowing and Wise. 

112. But whoever earns an offense or a sin 
and then blames it on an innocent [per- 
son] has taken upon himself a slander 
and manifest sin. 



113. 



And if it was not for the favor of God 
upon you, [O Muhammad], and His 



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mercy, a group of them would have de- 
termined to mislead you. But they do 
not mislead except themselves, and 
they will not harm you at all. And God 120. 

has revealed to you the Book and wis- 
dom and has taught you that which you 
did not know. And ever has the favor 
of God upon you been great. 121. 

114. No good is there in much of their pri- 
vate conversation, except for those who 122. 
enjoin charity or that which is right or 
conciliation between people. And 
whoever does that seeking means to the 
approval of God - then We are going to 

give him a great reward. 

115. And whoever opposes the Messenger 

after guidance has become clear to him 123. 

and follows other than the way of the 
believers - We will give him what he 
has taken 190 and drive him into Hell, 
and evil it is as a destination. 

116. Indeed, God does not forgive associa- 
tion with Him, but He forgives what is 1 24. 
less than that for whom He wills. And 

he who associates others with God has 
certainly gone far astray. 

117. They call upon instead of Him none 

but female [deities], and they [actually] 125. 

call upon none but a rebellious Satan, 

118. Whom God has cursed. For he had 
said, "I will surely take from among 
Your servants a specific portion. 



ally instead of God has certainly sus- 
tained a clear loss. 

He [i.e., Satan] promises them and 
arouses desire in them. But Satan does 
not promise them except delusion. 

The refuge of those will be Hell, and 
they will not find from it an escape. 

But the ones who believe and do righ- 
teous deeds - We will admit them to 
gardens beneath which rivers flow, 
wherein they will abide forever. [It is] 
the promise of God, [which is] truth, 
and who is more truthful than God in 
statement. 

It [i.e., Paradise] is not [obtained] by 
your wishful thinking nor by that of the 
People of the Scripture. Whoever does 
a wrong will be recompensed for it, and 
he will not find besides God a protec- 
tor or a helper. 

And whoever does righteous deeds, 
whether male or female, while being a 
believer - those will enter Paradise and 
will not be wronged, [even as much as] 
the speck on a date seed. 

And who is better in religion than one 
who submits himself to God while be- 
ing a doer of good and follows the reli- 
gion of Abraham, inclining toward 
truth? And God took Abraham as an 
intimate friend. 



119. And I will mislead them, and I will 
arouse in them [sinful] desires, and I 
will command them so they will slit the 
ears of catde, and I will command them 
so they will change the creation of 
God." And whoever takes Satan as an 



1 i.e., make him responsible for his choice. 



126. 



127. 



And to God belongs whatever is in the 
heavens and whatever is on the earth. 
And ever is God, of all things, encom- 
passing. 

And they request from you, [O Mu- 
hammad], a Pegal] ruling concerning 
women. Say, "God gives you a ruling 
about them and [about] what has been 



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recited to you in the Book concerning 
the orphan girls to whom you do not 
give what is decreed for them 191 - and 
[yet] you desire to marry them - and 
concerning the oppressed among child- 
ren and that you maintain for orphans 
[their rights] in justice." And whatever 
you do of good - indeed, God is ever 
Knowing of it. 

128. And if a woman fears from her hus- 
band contempt or evasion, there is no 
sin upon them if they make terms of 
setdement between them - and setde- 
ment is best. And present in [human] 
souls is stinginess. 192 But if you do good 
and fear God - then indeed God is ev- 
er, with what you do, Acquainted. 

129. And you will never be able to be equal 
[in feeling] between wives, even if you 
should strive [to do so]. So do not in- 
cline completely [toward one] and leave 
another hanging. 193 And if you amend 
[your affairs] and fear God - then in- 
deed, God is ever Forgiving and Merci- 
ful. 

130. But if they separate [by divorce], God 
will enrich each [of them] from His ab- 
undance. And ever is God Encompass- 
ing and Wise. 

131. And to God belongs whatever is in the 
heavens and whatever is on the earth. 
And We have instructed those who 
were given the Scripture before you and 
yourselves to fear God. But if you dis- 
believe - then to God belongs whatever 
is in the heavens and whatever is on the 
earth. And ever is God Free of need 
and Praiseworthy. 

191 i.e., their rights, in general and their mahr, spe- 
cifically. 

192 i.e., holding on to self-interests. 

193 Neither divorced nor enjoying the rights of 
marriage. 



1 32. And to God belongs whatever is in the 
heavens and whatever is on the earth. 
And sufficient is God as Disposer of 
affairs. 

133. If He wills, He can do away with you, 
O people, and bring others [in your 
place]. And ever is God competent to 
do that. 

134. Whoever desires the reward of this 
world - then with God is the reward of 
this world and the Hereafter. And ever 
is God Hearing and Seeing. 

135. O you who have believed, be persis- 
tendy standing firm in justice, witnesses 
for God, even if it be against yourselves 
or parents and relatives. Whether one is 
rich or poor, God is more worthy of 
both. 194 So follow not [personal] incli- 
nation, lest you not be just. And if you 
distort [your testimony] or refuse [to 
give it], then indeed God is ever, with 
what you do, Acquainted. 

136. O you who have believed, believe 195 in 
God and His Messenger and the Book 
that He sent down upon His Messenger 
and the Scripture which He sent down 
before. And whoever disbelieves in 
God, His angels, His books, His mes- 
sengers, and the Last Day has certainly 
gone far astray. 

137. Indeed, those who have believed then 
disbelieved, then believed, then disbe- 
lieved, and then increased in disbelief - 
never will God forgive them, nor will 
He guide them to a way. 

138. Give tidings to the hypocrites that there 
is for them a painful punishment - 

194 i.e., more knowledgeable of their best interests. 
Therefore, adhere to what He has enjoyed upon 
you and testify honestly. 
195 i.e., renew, confirm and adhere to your belief. 



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139. Those who take disbelievers as allies 
instead of the believers. Do they seek 
with them honour [through power]? 
But indeed, honour belongs to God en- 
tirely. 196 

140. And it has already come down to you in 
the Book [i.e., the Qur'an] that when 
you hear the verses of God [recited], 
they are denied [by them] and ridiculed; 
so do not sit with them until they enter 
into another conversation. Indeed, you 
would then be like them. 197 Indeed, 
God will gather the hypocrites and dis- 
believers in Hell all together - 

141. Those who wait [and watch] you. Then 
if you gain a victory from God, they 
say, "Were we not with you?" But if the 
disbelievers have a success, they say [to 
them], "Did we not gain the advantage 
over you, but we protected you from 
the believers?" God will judge between 
[all of] you on the Day of Resurrection, 
and never will God give the disbelievers 
over the believers a way [to overcome 
them]. 198 

142. Indeed, the hypocrites [think to] dece- 
ive God, but He is deceiving them. And 
when they stand for prayer, they stand 
lazily, showing [themselves to] the 
people and not remembering God ex- 
cept a little, 

143. Wavering between them, [belonging] 
neither to these [i.e., the believers] nor 
to those [i.e., the disbelievers]. And 
whoever God leaves astray - never will 
you find for him a way. 

196 Being the source of all power and honour, 
God grants them to whom He wills. 

197 In this world, by participation in their blas- 
phemy, and in the next, where you will share their 
punishment. 

198 In the Hereafter, but possibly in this world as 
well. 



144. O you who have believed, do not take 
the disbelievers as allies instead of the 
believers. Do you wish to give God 
against yourselves a clear case? 

145. Indeed, the hypocrites will be in the 
lowest depths of the Fire - and never 
will you find for them a helper - 

146. Except for those who repent, correct 
themselves, hold fast to God, and are 
sincere in their religion for God, for 
those will be with the believers. And 
God is going to give the believers a 
great reward. 

147. What would God do with [i.e., gain 
from] with your punishment if you are 
grateful and believe? And ever is God 
Appreciative and Knowing. 

148. God does not like the public mention 
of evil except by one who has been 
wronged. And ever is God Hearing and 
Knowing. 

149. If [instead] you show [some] good or 
conceal it or pardon an offense - in- 
deed, God is ever Pardoning and Com- 
petent. 199 

150. Indeed, those who disbelieve in God 
and His messengers and wish to discri- 
minate between God and His messen- 
gers and say, "We believe in some and 
disbelieve in others," and wish to adopt 
a way in between — 

151. Those are the disbelievers, truly. And 
We have prepared for the disbelievers a 
humiliating punishment. 

152. But they who believe in God and His 
messengers and do not discriminate be- 



199 God is always able to exact retribution, al- 
though He pardons out of His grace. 



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tween any of them - to those He is 
going to give their rewards. And ever is 
God Forgiving and Merciful. 

153. The People of the Scripture ask you to 
bring down to them a book from the 
heaven. But they had asked of Moses 
[even] greater than that and said, "Show 
us God outright," so the thunderbolt 
struck them for their wrongdoing. Then 
they took the calf [for worship] after 
clear evidences had come to them, and 
We pardoned that. And We gave Moses 
a clear authority. 



who differ over it are in doubt about it. 
They have no knowledge of it except 
the following of assumption. And they 
did not kill him, for certain. 203 

158. Rather, God raised him to Himself. 
And ever is God Exalted in Might and 
Wise. 

159. And there is none from the People of 
the Scripture but that he will surely be- 
lieve in him [i.e., Jesus] before his 
death. 204 And on the Day of Resurrec- 
tion he will be against them a witness. 



154. And We raised over them the mount 
for [refusal of] their covenant; and We 
said to them, "Enter the gate bowing 
humbly"; and We said to them, "Do 
not transgress on the sabbath"; and We 
took from them a solemn covenant. 

155. And [We cursed them] 200 for their 
breaking of the covenant and their dis- 
belief in the signs of God and their kill- 
ing of the prophets without right and 
their saying, "Our hearts are wrapped." 
[i.e., sealed against reception]. Rather, 
God has sealed them because of their 
disbelief, so they believe not, except for 
a few. 201 

156. And [We cursed them] for their disbe- 
lief and their saying against Mary a great 
slander, 202 

157. And [for] their saying, "Indeed, we 
have killed the Messiah, Jesus, the son 
of Mary, the messenger of God." And 
they did not kill him, nor did they cruci- 
fy him; but [another] was made to re- 
semble him to them. And indeed, those 

200 Another interpretation is "And [We made 
certain good foods unlawful to them]," based 
upon verse 160. 

201 Or "except with little belief." 

202 When they accused her of fornication. 



160. For wrongdoing on the part of the 
Jews, We made unlawful for them [cer- 
tain] good foods which had been lawful 
to them, and for their averting from the 
way of God many [people], 

161. And [for] their taking of usury while 
they had been forbidden from it, and 
their consuming of the people's wealth 
unjusdy. And we have prepared for the 
disbelievers among them a painful pu- 
nishment. 

162. But those firm in knowledge among 
them and the believers believe in what 
has been revealed to you, [O Muham- 
mad], and what was revealed before 
you. And the establishers of prayer [es- 
pecially] and the givers of 2akah and the 
believers in God and the Last Day - 
those We will give a great reward. 

163. Indeed, We have revealed to you, [O 
Muhammad], as We revealed to Noah 
and the prophets after him. And we re- 



203 Another meaning is "And they did not kill 
him, being certain [of his identity]," i.e., they 
killed another assuming it was Jesus. 

204 One interpretation is that "his death" refers to 
that of Jesus after his return to earth. Or it can 
mean "the death of every individual from among 
the People of the Scripture." 



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vealed to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Ja- 
cob, the Descendants, 205 Jesus, Job, Jo- 
nah, Aaron, and Solomon, and to Da- 
vid We gave the book [of Psalms]. 

164. And [We sent] messengers about whom 
We have related [their stories] to you 
before and messengers about whom 
We have not related to you. And God 
spoke to Moses with [direct] speech. 

165. [We sent] messengers as bringers of 
good tidings and warners so that man- 
kind will have no argument against God 
after the messengers. And ever is God 
Exalted in Might and Wise. 

166. But God bears witness to that which 
He has revealed to you. He has sent it 
down with His knowledge, and the an- 
gels bear witness [as well]. And suffi- 
cient is God as Witness. 

167. Indeed, those who disbelieve and avert 
[people] from the way of God have cer- 
tainly gone far astray. 

168. Indeed, those who disbelieve and 
commit wrong [or injustice] - never will 
God forgive them, nor will He guide 
them to a path, 

169. Except the path of Hell; they will abide 
therein forever. And that, for God, is 
[always] easy. 

170. O mankind, the Messenger has come to 
you with the truth from your Lord, so 
believe; it is better for you. But if you 
disbelieve - then indeed, to God be- 
longs whatever is in the heavens and 
earth. And ever is God Knowing and 
Wise. 



205 Al-Asbdt. See footnote to 2:136. 



171. O People of the Scripture, do not 
commit excess in your religion 206 or say 
about God except the truth. The Mes- 
siah, Jesus, the son of Mary, was but a 
messenger of God and His word which 
He directed to Maty and a soul [created 
at a command] from Him. So believe in 
God and His messengers. And do not 
say, "Three"; desist - it is better for you. 
Indeed, God is but one God. Exalted is 
He above having a son. To Him be- 
longs whatever is in the heavens and 
whatever is on the earth. And sufficient 
is God as Disposer of affairs. 

172. Never would the Messiah disdain to be 
a servant of God, nor would the angels 
near [to Him], And whoever disdains 
His worship and is arrogant - He will 
gather them to Himself all together. 

173. And as for those who believed and did 
righteous deeds, He will give them in 
full their rewards and grant them extra 
from His bounty. But as for those who 
disdained and were arrogant, He will 
punish them with a painful punishment, 
and they will not find for themselves 
besides God any protector or helper. 

174. O mankind, there has come to you a 
conclusive proof from your Lord, and 
We have sent down to you a clear 
light. 207 

175. So those who believe in God and hold 
fast to Him - He will admit them to 
mercy from Himself and bounty and 
guide them to Himself on a straight 
path. 

176. They request from you a Pegal] ruling. 
Say, "God gives you a ruling concern- 
ing one having neither descendants nor 

206 Such as attributing divine qualities to certain 
creations of God or revering them excessively. 

207 Showing the truth (i.e., the Qur'an). 



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ascendants [as heirs]." If a man dies, 
leaving no child but [only] a sister, she 
will have half of what he left. And he 
inherits from her if she [dies and] has 
no child. But if there are two sisters [or 
more], they will have two thirds of what 
he left. If there are both brothers and 
sisters, the male will have the share of 
two females. God makes clear to you 
[His law], lest you go astray. And God 
is Knowing of all things. 



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Surah 5: al-Maidah 

Period of Revelation 

The theme of this Surah indicates and traditions support it, that it was revealed after the treaty of Hudaibiyah 
at the end of 6 A.H. or in the beginning of 7 A.H. That is why it deals with those problems that arose from 
this treaty. 

The Prophet with 1400 Muslims went to Makkah in 6 A.H. to perform Umrah, but the Quraysh spurred by 
their enmity prevented him from its performance though it was utterly against all the ancient religious tradi- 
tions of Arabia. After a good deal of hard and harsh negotiations a treaty was concluded at Hudaibiyah ac- 
cording to which it was agreed that he could perform Umrah the following year. That was a very appropriate 
occasion for teaching the Muslims the right way of performing a pilgrimage to Makkah with the true Islamic 
dignity and enjoining that they should not prevent the disbelievers from performing pilgrimage to Makkah as 
a retaliation for their misbehaviour. This was not difficult at all as many disbelievers had to pass through 
Muslim territory on their way to Makkah. This is why the introductory verses deal with the things connected 
with pilgrimage to Makkah and the same theme has been resumed in v. 101-104. The other topics of this 
Surah also appear to belong to the same period. 

Occasion of Revelation 

This Surah was revealed to suit the requirements of the changed conditions which were now different from 
those prevailing at the time of the revelation of ale-Imran and an-Nisa. Then the shock of the set-back at 
Uhud had made the very surroundings of Madinah dangerous for the Muslims. Now Islam had become an 
invulnerable power and the Islamic State had extended to Najd on the east, to the Red Sea on the west, to 
Syria on the north, and to Makkah on the south. This set-back which the Muslims had suffered at Uhud had 
not broken their determination. It had rather spurred them to action. As a result of their continuous struggle 
and unparalleled sacrifices the power of the surrounding clans within a radius of 200 miles or so had been 
broken. The Jewish menace which was always threatening Madinah had been totally removed and the Jews in 
the other parts of Hijaz had become tributaries of the State of Madinah. The last effort of the Quraysh to 
suppress Islam had been thwarted in the Battle of the Ditch. After this it had become quite obvious to the 
Arabs that no power could suppress the Islamic movement. Now Islam was not merely a creed which ruled 
over the minds and hearts of the people but had also become a State which dominated over every aspect of 
the life of the people who lived within its boundaries. This had enabled the Muslims to live their lives with- 
out let or hindrance in accordance with their beliefs. 

Another development had also taken place during this period. The Muslim civilization had developed in ac- 
cordance with the principles of Islam and the Islamic viewpoint. This civilization was quite distinct from all 
other civilizations in all its details, and distinguished the Muslims clearly from the non-Muslims in their mor- 
al, social and cultural behaviour. Mosques had been built in all territories, prayer had been established and an 
Imam (leader) for every habitation and clan had been appointed. The Islamic civil and criminal laws had been 
formulated in detail and were being enforced through the Islamic courts. New and reformed ways of trade 
and commerce had taken the place of the old ones. The Islamic laws of marriage and divorce, of the segrega- 
tion of the sexes, of the punishment for adultery and calumny and the like had cast the social life of the Mus- 
lims in a special mould. Their social behaviour, their conversation, their dress, their very mode of living, their 
culture etc., had taken a definite shape of its own. As a result of all these changes, the non-Muslims could not 
expect that the Muslims would ever return to their former fold. Before the treaty of Hudaibiyah, the Muslims 
were so engaged in their struggle with the non-Muslim Quraysh that they got no time to propagate their 
message. This hindrance was removed by what was apparently a defeat but in reality a victory at Hudaibiyah. 
This gave the Muslims not only peace in their own territory but also respite to spread their message in the 
surrounding territories. Accordingly the Prophet addressed letters to the rulers of Persia, Egypt and the Ro- 

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man Empire and the chiefs of Arabia, inviting them to Islam. At the same time the missionaries of Islam 
spread among the clans and tribes and invited them to accept the Divine Way of God. These were the cir- 
cumstances at the time when al-Maidah was revealed. 

Topics 

It deals with the following three main topics: 

1. Commandments and instructions about the religious, cultural and political life of the Muslims. In 
this connection a code of ceremonial rules concerning the journey for Hajj has been prescribed; the 
observance of strict respect for the emblems of God has been enjoined; and any kind of obstruc- 
tion or interference with the pilgrims to the Ka'bah has been prohibited. Definite rules and regula- 
tions have been laid down for what is lawful and unlawful in the matter of food and self-imposed 
foolish restrictions of the pre-Islamic age have been abolished. Permission has been given to take 
food with the people of the Book and to marry their women. Rules and regulations for the perfor- 
mance of Wudu (ablutions) and bath and purification and tayammum (ablutions with dust) have 
been prescribed. Punishment for rebellion, disturbance of peace and theft have been specified. 
Drinking and gambling have absolutely been made unlawful. Expiation for the breaking of oath has 
been laid down and a few more things have been added to the law of evidence. 

2. Admonition to the Muslims. Now that the Muslims had become a ruling body it was feared that 
power might corrupt them. At this period of great trial God had admonished them over and over 
again to stick to justice and to guard against the wrong behaviour of their predecessors the people 
of the Book. They have been enjoined to remain steadfast to the Covenant of obedience to God 
and His Messenger and to observe strictly their commands and prohibitions in order to save them- 
selves from the evil consequences which befell the Jews and the Christians who had violated them. 
They have been instructed to observe the dictates of the Qur'an in the conduct of all their affairs 
and warned against the attitude of hypocrisy. 

3. Admonition to the Jews and the Christians. As the power of the Jews had been totally weakened 
and almost all their habitations in north Arabia had come under the rule of the Muslims they have 
been warned again about their wrong attitude and invited to follow the Right Way. At the same 
time a detailed invitation has also been extended to the Christians. The errors of their creeds have 
been clearly pointed out and they have been admonished to accept the guidance of the Prophet. In- 
cidentally it may be noted that no direct invitation has been made to the Majoos (fire-worshippers) 
and idolaters living in the adjoining countries because there was no need for a separate address for 
them as their condition had already been covered by the addresses to the polyfheist Arabs. 

Subject: Consolidation of the Islamic Community. 

In continuation of the instructions about the consolidation of the Islamic Community given in the previous 
Surah the Muslims have been directed to observe and fulfill all their obligations: further regulations have 
been prescribed to train the Muslims for that purpose. They have also been particularly warned as rulers to 
guard against the corruption of power and directed to observe the Covenant of the Qur'an. They have also 
been exhorted to learn lessons from the failings of their predecessors the Jews and the Christians who in 
their turn have been admonished to give up their wrong attitudes towards the Right Way and accept the 
guidance taught by Prophet Muhammad. 



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Surah 5: al-Ma'idah 208 

In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, 
the Most Merciful 

1. O you who have believed, fulfill [all] 
contracts. 209 Lawful for you are the an- 
imals of gra2ing livestock except for 
that which is recited to you [in this 
Qur'an] - hunting not being permitted 
while you are in the state of ihram. 210 
Indeed, God ordains what He intends. 

2. O you who have believed, do not vi- 
olate the rites of God or [the sanctity 
of] the sacred month or [neglect the 
marking of] the sacrificial animals and 
garlanding [them] or [violate the safety 
of] those coming to the Sacred House 
seeking bounty from their Lord and 
[His] approval. But when you come out 
of ihram, then [you may] hunt. And do 
not let the hatred of a people for hav- 
ing obstructed you from al-Masjid al- 
Haram lead you to transgress. And 
cooperate in righteousness and piety, 
but do not cooperate in sin and aggres- 
sion. And fear God; indeed, God is se- 
vere in penalty. 

3. Prohibited to you are dead animals, 211 
blood, the flesh of swine, and that 
which has been dedicated to other than 
God, and [those animals] killed by 
strangling or by a violent blow or by a 
head-long fall or by the goring of 
horns, and those from which a wild an- 
imal has eaten, except what you [are 
able to] slaughter [before its death], and 

208 Al-Ma'idah. The Table, referring to the table 
spread with food requested by the disciples of 
Jesus in verse 112. 

209 Which includes promises, covenants, oaths, 
etc. 

210 The state or ritual consecration for hajj or 
'umrah. 

211 See footnote to 2:173. 



those which are sacrificed on stone al- 
tars, 212 and [prohibited is] that you seek 
decision through divining arrows. That 
is grave disobedience. This day those 
who disbelieve have despaired of [de- 
feating] your religion; so fear them not, 
but fear Me. This day I have perfected 
for you your religion and completed 
My favor upon you and have approved 
for you Islam as religion. But whoever 
is forced by severe hunger with no in- 
clination to sin - then indeed, God is 
Forgiving and Merciful. 

4. They ask you, [O Muhammad], what 
has been made lawful for them. Say, 
"Lawful for you are [all] good foods 
and [game caught by] what you have 
trained of hunting animals 213 which you 
train as God has taught you. So eat of 
what they catch for you, and mention 
the name of God upon it, and fear 
God." Indeed, God is swift in account. 

5. This day [all] good foods have been 
made lawful, and the food of those 
who were given the Scripture is lawful 
for you and your food is lawful for 
them. And [lawful in marriage are] 
chaste women from among the believ- 
ers and chaste women from among 
those who were given the Scripture be- 
fore you, when you have given them 
their due compensation, 214 desiring 
chastity, not unlawful sexual inter- 
course or taking [secret] lovers. And 
whoever denies the faith - his work has 
become worthless, and he, in the He- 
reafter, will be among the losers. 

6. O you who have believed, when you 
rise to [perform] prayer, wash your fac- 
es and your forearms to the elbows and 



212 In the name of anything other that God. 

213 Such as dogs, falcons, etc. 

214 The specified bridal gift (mahf). 



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wipe over your heads and wash your 
feet to the ankles. And if you are in a 
state of janabah, 215 then purify your- 
selves. But if you are ill or on a journey 
or one of you comes from the place of 
relieving himself or you have contacted 
women 216 and do not find water, then 
seek clean earth and wipe over your 
faces and hands with it. God does not 
intend to make difficulty for you, but 
He intends to purify you and complete 
His favor upon you that you may be 
grateful. 



12. And God had already taken a covenant 
from the Children of Israel, and We de- 
legated from among them twelve lead- 
ers. And God said, "I am with you. If 
you establish prayer and give zakah and 
believe in My messengers and support 
them and loan God a goodly loan, 217 I 
will surely remove from you your mis- 
deeds and admit you to gardens be- 
neath which rivers flow. But whoever 
of you disbelieves after that has certain- 
ly strayed from the soundness of the 
way." 



10. 



11. 



And remember the favor of God upon 
you and His covenant with which He 
bound you when you said, "We hear 
and we obey"; and fear God. Indeed, 
God is Knowing of that within the 
breasts. 

O you who have believed, be persis- 
tendy standing firm for God, witnesses 
in justice, and do not let the hatred of a 
people prevent you from being just. Be 
just; that is nearer to righteousness. 
And fear God; indeed, God is Ac- 
quainted with what you do. 

God has promised those who believe 
and do righteous deeds [that] for them 
there is forgiveness and great reward. 

But those who disbelieve and deny Our 
signs - those are the companions of 
Hellfire. 

O you who have believed, remember 
the favor of God upon you when a 
people determined to extend their 
hands [in aggression] against you, but 
He withheld their hands from you; and 
fear God. And upon God let the be- 
lievers rely. 



215 See footnote to 4:43. 

216 i.e., had sexual intercourse. 



13. So for their breaking of the covenant 
We cursed them and made their hearts 
hard. They distort words from their 
[proper] places [i.e., usages] and have 
forgotten a portion of that of which 
they were reminded. 218 And you will 
still observe deceit among them, except 
a few of them. But pardon them and 
overlook [their misdeeds]. Indeed, God 
loves the doers of good. 

14. And from those who say, "We are 
Christians" We took their covenant; 
but they forgot a portion of that of 
which they were reminded. 219 So We 
caused among them 220 animosity and 
hatred until the Day of Resurrection. 
And God is going to inform them 
about what they used to do. 

15. O People of the Scripture, there has 
come to you Our Messenger making 
clear to you much of what you used to 
conceal of the Scripture and overlook- 



217 By spending in the cause of God, seeking His 
reward. 

218 In the Torah concerning the coming of 
Prophet Muhammad. 

219 In the Gospel concerning the coming of 
Prophet Muhammad. 

220 i.e., among their various denominations or 
sects. 



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ing much. 221 There has come to you 
from God a light and a clear Book [i.e., 
the Qur'an] 

16. By which God guides those who pur- 
sue His pleasure to the ways of peace 222 
and brings them out from darknesses 
into the light, by His permission, and 
guides them to a straight path. 

1 7. They have certainly disbelieved who say 
that God is Christ, the son of Mary. 
Say, "Then who could prevent God at 
all if He had intended to destroy Christ, 
the son of Mary, or his mother or eve- 
ryone on the earth?" And to God be- 
longs the dominion of the heavens and 
the earth and whatever is between 
them. He creates what He wills, and 
God is over all things competent. 

18. But the Jews and the Christians say, 
"We are the children of God and His 
beloved." Say, "Then why does He pu- 
nish you for your sins?" Rather, you are 
human beings from among those He 
has created. He forgives whom He 
wills, and He punishes whom He wills. 
And to God belongs the dominion of 
the heavens and the earth and whatever 
is between them, and to Him is the [fi- 
nal] destination. 

19. O People of the Scripture, there has 
come to you Our Messenger to make 
clear to you [the religion] after a period 
[of suspension] of messengers, lest you 
say, "There came not to us any bringer 
of good tidings or a warner." But there 
has come to you a bringer of good tid- 
ings and a warner. And God is over all 
things competent. 



221 Of your sin in that regard. 

222 i.e., security, well-being, integrity and escape 
from Hellfire. Literally, "freedom from all evil." 



20. And [mention, O Muhammad], when 
Moses said to his people, "O my 
people, remember the favor of God 
upon you when He appointed among 
you prophets and made you posses- 
sors 223 and gave you that which He had 
not given anyone among the worlds. 

21. O my people, enter the Holy Land [i.e., 
Palestine] which God has assigned to 
you and do not turn back [from fight- 
ing in God's cause] and [thus] become 
losers." 

22. They said, "O Moses, indeed within it 
is a people of tyrannical strength, and 
indeed, we will never enter it until they 
leave it; but if they leave it, then we will 
enter." 

23. Said two men from those who feared 
[to disobey] upon whom God had bes- 
towed favor, "Enter upon them 
through the gate, for when you have 
entered it, you will be predominant. 224 
And upon God rely, if you should be 
believers." 

24. They said, "O Moses, indeed we will 
not enter it, ever, as long as they are 
within it; so go, you and your Lord, and 
fight. Indeed, we are remaining right 
here." 

25. [Moses] said, "My Lord, indeed I do 
not possess [i.e., control] except myself 
and my brother, so part us 225 from the 
defiantly disobedient people." 

26. [God] said, "Then indeed, it is forbid- 
den to them for forty years [in which] 

223 Of all that you need — specifically, homes, 
wives, and servants. Or "sovereigns," i.e., those 
of independent authority. 

224 i.e., If you obey the command of God trusting 
in Him, He will fulfil His promise to you. 

225Q r "distinguish us" or "judge between us." 

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they will wander throughout the land. 
So do not grieve over the defiantly dis- 
obedient people." 

27. And recite to them the story of Adam's 
two sons, in truth, when they both of- 
fered a sacrifice [to God], and it was 
accepted from one of them but was not 
accepted from the other. Said [the lat- 
ter], "I will surely kill you." Said [the 
former], "Indeed, God only accepts 
from the righteous [who fear Him] . 

28. If you should raise your hand against 
me to kill me - 1 shall not raise my hand 
against you to kill you. Indeed, I fear 
God, Lord of the worlds. 

29. Indeed, I want you to obtain [thereby] 
my sin and your sin so you will be 
among the companions of the Fire. 
And that is the recompense of wrong- 
doers." 

30. And his soul permitted to him 226 the 
murder of his brother, so he killed him 
and became among the losers. 



whoever saves one 230 - it is as if he had 
saved mankind entirely. And our mes- 
sengers had certainly come to them 
with clear proofs. Then indeed many of 
them, [even] after that, throughout the 
land, were transgressors. 231 

33. Indeed, the penalty 232 for those who 
wage war 233 against God and His Mes- 
senger and strive upon earth [to cause] 
corruption is none but that they be 
killed or crucified or that their hands 
and feet be cut off from opposite sides 
or that they be exiled from the land. 
That is for them a disgrace in this 
world; and for them in the Hereafter is 
a great punishment, 

34. Except for those who return [repent- 
ing] before you overcome [i.e., appre- 
hend] them. And know that God is 
Forgiving and Merciful. 

35. O you who have believed, fear God 
and seek the means [of nearness] to 
Him and strive in His cause that you 
may succeed. 



31. Then God sent a crow searching [i.e., 
scratching] in the ground to show him 
how to hide the disgrace 227 of his 
brother. He said, "O woe to me! Have I 
failed to be like this crow and hide the 
disgrace [i.e., body] of my brother?" 
And he became of the regretful. 



36. Indeed, those who disbelieve - if they 
should have all that is in the earth and 
the like of it with it by which to ransom 
themselves from the punishment of the 
Day of Resurrection, it will not be ac- 
cepted from them, and for them is a 
painful punishment. 



32. Because of that, We decreed upon the 
Children of Israel that whoever kills a 
soul unless for a soul 228 or for corrup- 
tion [done] in the land 229 - it is as if he 
had slain mankind entirely. And 



226 i.e., the killer allowed himself. 

227 Referring to the dead body, evidence of his 
shameful deed. 

228 i.e., in legal retribution for murder. 

229 i.e., that requiring the death penalty. 



37. They will wish to get out of the Fire, 
but never are they to emerge therefrom, 
and for them is an enduring punish- 
ment. 



230 Q r refrains from killing. 

231 Heedless of God's limits, negligent of their 
responsibilities. 

232 Legal retribution. 

233 i.e., commit acts of violence and terrorism 
against individuals or treason and aggression 
against the Islamic state. 

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38. [As for] the thief, the male and the fe- 
male, amputate their hands in recom- 
pense for what they earned [i.e., com- 
mitted] as a deterrent [punishment] 
from God. And God is Exalted in 
Might and Wise. 

39. But whoever repents after his wrong- 
doing and reforms, indeed, God will 
turn to him in forgiveness. Indeed, 
God is Forgiving and Merciful. 

40. Do you not know that to God belongs 
the dominion of the heavens and the 
earth? He punishes whom He wills and 
forgives whom He wills, and God is 
over all things competent. 

41. O Messenger, let them not grieve you 
who hasten into disbelief of those who 
say, "We believe" with their mouths, 
but their hearts believe not, and from 
among the Jews. [They are] avid listen- 
ers to falsehood, listening to another 
people who have not come to you. 234 
They distort words beyond their [prop- 
er] places [i.e., usages], saying "If you 
are given this, 235 take it; but if you are 
not given it, then beware." But he for 
whom God intends fitnah 236 - never 
will you possess [power to do] for him 
a thing against God. Those are the ones 
for whom God does not intend to puri- 
fy their hearts. For them in this world is 
disgrace, and for them in the Hereafter 
is a great punishment. 

42. [They are] avid listeners to falsehood, 
devourers of [what is] unlawful. So if 
they come to you, [O Muhammad], 
judge between them or turn away from 

234 They had not attended the Prophet's gather- 
ings or heard his words. 

235 The legal ruling desired by them. 

236 The meaning here is misbelieve, misconcep- 
tion, or self-delusion as result of one's own refus- 
al of truth. 



them. And if you turn away from them 
- never will they harm you at all. And if 
you judge, judge between them with 
justice. Indeed, God loves those who 
act justly. 

43. But how is it that they come to you for 
judgement while they have the Torah, 
in which is the judgement of God? 
Then they turn away, [even] after that; 
but those are not [in fact] believers. 

44. Indeed, We sent down the Torah, in 
which was guidance and light. The 
prophets who submitted [to God] 
judged by it for the Jews, as did the 
rabbis and scholars by that with which 
they were entrusted of the Scripture of 
God, and they were witnesses thereto. 
So do not fear the people but fear Me, 
and do not exchange My verses for a 
small price [i.e., worldly gain]. And 
whoever does not judge by what God 
has revealed - then it is those who are 
the disbelievers. 

45. And We ordained for them therein a 
life for a life, an eye for an eye, a nose 
for a nose, an ear for an ear, a tooth for 
a tooth, and for wounds is legal retribu- 
tion. But whoever gives [up his right as] 
charity, it is an expiation for him. And 
whoever does not judge by what God 
has revealed - then it is those who are 
the wrongdoers [i.e., the unjust], 

46. And We sent, following in their foot- 
steps, 237 Jesus, the son of Mary, con- 
firming that which came before him in 
the Torah; and We gave him the Gos- 
pel, in which was guidance and light 
and confirming that which preceded it 
of the Torah as guidance and instruc- 
tion for the righteous. 



237 i.e., following the tradition of the prophets of 
the Children of Israel. 

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47. And let the People of the Gospel judge 
by what God has revealed therein. And 
whoever does not judge by what God 
has revealed - then it is those who are 
the defiantly disobedient. 

48. And We have revealed to you, [O Mu- 
hammad], the Book [i.e., the Qur'an] in 
truth, confirming that which preceded 
it of the Scripture and as a criterion 
over it. So judge between them by what 
God has revealed and do not follow 
their inclinations away from what has 
come to you of the truth. To each of 
you We prescribed a law and a me- 
thod. 238 Had God willed, He would 
have made you one nation [united in 
religion], but [He intended] to test you 
in what He has given you; so race to [all 
that is] good. 239 To God is your return 
all together, and He will [then] inform 
you concerning that over which you 
used to differ. 

49. And judge, [O Muhammad], between 
them by what God has revealed and do 
not follow their inclinations and beware 
of them, lest they tempt you away from 
some of what God has revealed to you. 
And if they turn away - then know that 
God only intends to afflict them with 
some of their [own] sins. And indeed, 
many among the people are defiantly 
disobedient. 

50. Then is it the judgement of [the time 
of] ignorance they desire? But who is 
better than God in judgement for a 
people who are certain [in faith] . 

51. O you who have believed, do not take 
the Jews and the Christians as allies. 

238 Prior to his revelation, which supersedes all 
previous scriptures. 

239 i.e., obedience to God according to what He 
enjoined in the Qur'an and through the sunnah of 
His Prophet. 



They are [in fact] allies of one another. 
And whoever is an ally to them among 
you - then indeed, he is [one] of them. 
Indeed, God guides not the wrong- 
doing people. 

52. So you see those in whose hearts is dis- 
ease [i.e., hypocrisy] hastening into [as- 
sociation with] them, saying, "We are 
afraid a misfortune may strike us." But 
perhaps God will bring conquest or a 
decision from Him, and they will be- 
come, over what they have been con- 
cealing within themselves, regretful. 

53. And those who believe will say, 240 "Are 
these the ones who swore by God their 
strongest oaths that indeed they were 
with you?" Their deeds have become 
worthless, and they have become los- 
ers. 

54. O you who have believed, whoever of 
you should revert from his religion - 
God will bring forth [in place of them] 
a people He will love and who will love 
Him [who are] humble toward the be- 
lievers, powerful against the disbeliev- 
ers; they strive in the cause of God and 
do not fear the blame of a critic. That is 
the favor of God; He bestows it upon 
whom He wills. And God is all- 
Encompassing and Knowing. 

55. Your ally is none but God and [there- 
fore] His Messenger and those who 
have believed - those who establish 
prayer and give zakah, and they bow [in 
worship] . 

56. And whoever is an ally of God and His 
Messenger and those who have be- 
lieved - indeed, the party of God - they 
will be the predominant. 



240 About the hypocrites after their exposure. 

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57. O you who have believed, take not 
those who have taken your religion in 
ridicule and amusement among the 
ones who were given the Scripture be- 
fore you nor the disbelievers as allies. 
And fear God, if you should [truly] be 
believers. 

58. And when you call to prayer, they take 
it in ridicule and amusement. That is 
because they are a people who do not 
use reason. 

59. Say, "O People of the Scripture, do you 
resent us except [for the fact] that we 
have believed in God and what was re- 
vealed to us and what was revealed be- 
fore and because most of you are de- 
fiantly disobedient?" 

60. Say, "Shall I inform you of [what is] 
worse than that 241 as penalty from 
God? [It is that of] those whom God 
has cursed and with whom He became 
angry and made of them apes and pigs 
and slaves of taghut. 242 Those are worse 
in position and further astray from the 
sound way." 

61. And when they come to you, they say, 
"We believe." But they have entered 
with disbelief [in their hearts], and they 
have certainly left with it. And God is 
most knowing of what they were con- 
cealing. 

62. And you see many of them hastening 
into sin and aggression and the devour- 
ing of [what is] unlawful. How 
wretched is what they have been doing. 

63. Why do the rabbis and religious scho- 
lars not forbid them from saying what 

241 Referring to the punishment of the people of 
the Scripture (in their censure on the Muslims) 
claimed was deserved by them. 

242 See footnote to 2:256. 



is sinful and devouring what is unlaw- 
ful? How wretched is what they have 
been practicing. 

64. And the Jews say, "The hand of God is 
chained." 243 Chained are their hands, 
and cursed are they for what they say. 
Rather, both His hands are extended; 
He spends however He wills. And that 
which has been revealed to you from 
your Lord will surely increase many of 
them in transgression and disbelief. 
And We have cast among them ani- 
mosity and hatred until the Day of Re- 
surrection. Every time they kindled the 
fire of war [against you], God extin- 
guished it. And they strive throughout 
the land [causing] corruption, and God 
does not like corrupters. 

65. And if only the People of the Scripture 
had believed and feared God, We 
would have removed from them their 
misdeeds and admitted them to Gar- 
dens of Pleasure. 

66. And if only they upheld [the law of] the 
Torah, the Gospel, and what has been 
revealed to them from their Lord [i.e., 
the Qur'an], they would have con- 
sumed [provision] from above them 
and from beneath their feet. 244 Among 
them are a moderate [i.e., acceptable] 
community, but many of them - evil is 
that which they do. 

67. O Messenger, announce that which has 
been revealed to you from your Lord, 
and if you do not, then you have not 
conveyed His message. And God will 
protect you from the people. Indeed, 
God does not guide the disbelieving 
people. 



243 Implying inability to give or stinginess. 

244 i.e., in great abundance. 

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68. Say, "O People of the Scripture, you 73. 
are [standing] on nothing until you 
uphold [the law of] the Torah, the 
Gospel, and what has been revealed to 

you from your Lord [i.e., the Qur'an]." 
And that which has been revealed to 
you from your Lord will surely increase 
many of them in transgression and dis- 
belief. So do not grieve over the disbe- 74. 
lieving people. 

69. Indeed, those who have believed [in 
Prophet Muhammad] and those [before 75. 
him] who were Jews or Sabeans or 
Christians - those [among them] who 
believed in God and the Last Day and 

did righteousness - no fear will there be 
concerning them, nor will they 
grieve. 245 



They have certainly disbelieved who 
say, "God is the third of three." 246 And 
there is no god except one God. And if 
they do not desist from what they are 
saying, there will surely afflict the disbe- 
lievers among them a painful punish- 
ment. 

So will they not repent to God and seek 
His forgiveness? And God is Forgiving 
and Merciful. 

The Messiah, son of Mary, was not but 
a messenger; [other] messengers have 
passed on before him. And his mother 
was a supporter of truth. They both 
used to eat food. 247 Look how We 
make clear to them the signs; then look 
how they are deluded. 



70. We had already taken the covenant of 
the Children of Israel and had sent to 
them messengers. Whenever there 
came to them a messenger with what 
their souls did not desire, a party [of 
messengers] they denied, and another 
party they killed. 

71. And they thought there would be no 
[resulting] punishment, so they became 
blind and deaf. Then God turned to 
them in forgiveness; then [again] many 
of them became blind and deaf. And 
God is Seeing of what they do. 

72. They have certainly disbelieved who 
say, "God is the Messiah, the son of 
Mary" while the Messiah has said, "O 
Children of Israel, worship God, my 
Lord and your Lord." Indeed, he who 
associates others with God - God has 
forbidden him Paradise, and his refuge 
is the Fire. And there are not for the 
wrongdoers any helpers. 



245 See footnote to 2:62. 



76. Say, "Do you worship besides God that 
which holds for you no [power of] 
harm or benefit while it is God who is 
the Hearing, the Knowing?" 

77. Say, "O People of the Scripture, do not 
exceed limits in your religion beyond 
the truth and do not follow the inclina- 
tions of a people who had gone astray 
before and misled many and have 
strayed from the soundness of the 
way." 

78. Cursed were those who disbelieved 
among the Children of Israel by the 
tongue of David and of Jesus, the son 
of Mary. That was because they dis- 
obeyed and [habitually] transgressed. 

79. They used not to prevent one another 
from wrongdoing that they did. How 
wretched was that which they were 
doing. 

246 i.e., one part of three, referring to the Chris- 
tians concept of trinity. 

247 They were in need of sustenance, proving that 
they were creations of God, not divine beings. 

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80. You see many of them becoming allies 
of those who disbelieved [i.e., the po- 
lytheists]. How wretched is that which 
they have put forth for themselves in 
that God has become angry with them, 
and in the punishment they will abide 
eternally. 

81. And if they had believed in God and 
the Prophet and in what was revealed 
to him, they would not have taken 
them as allies; but many of them are 
defiandy disobedient. 

82. You will surely find the most intense of 
the people in animosity toward the be- 
lievers [to be] the Jews and those who 
associate others with God; and you will 
find the nearest of them in affection to 
the believers those who say, "We are 
Christians." That is because among 
them are priests and monks and be- 
cause they are not arrogant. 

83. And when they hear what has been 
revealed to the Messenger, you see their 
eyes overflowing with tears because of 
what they have recognized of the truth. 
They say, "Our Lord, we have believed, 
so register us among the witnesses. 

84. And why should we not believe in God 
and what has come to us of the truth? 
And we aspire that our Lord will admit 
us [to Paradise] with the righteous 
people." 

85. So God rewarded them for what they 
said 248 with gardens [in Paradise] be- 
neath which rivers flow, wherein they 
abide eternally. And that is the reward 
of doers of good. 



248 i.e., their admission and acceptance of the 
truth and commitment to God's religion (Islam). 



86. But those who disbelieved and denied 
Our signs - they are the companions of 
Hellfire. 

87. O you who have believed, do not pro- 
hibit the good things which God has 
made lawful to you and do not trans- 
gress. Indeed, God does not like trans- 
gressors. 

88. And eat of what God has provided for 
you [which is] lawful and good. And 
fear God, in whom you are believers. 

89. God will not impose blame upon you 
for what is meaningless 249 in your 
oaths, but He will impose blame upon 
you for [breaking] what you intended of 
oaths. So its expiation 250 is the feeding 
of ten needy people from the average 
of that which you feed your [own] 
families or clothing them or the freeing 
of a slave. But whoever cannot find [or 
afford it] - then a fast of three days [is 
required]. That is the expiation for 
oaths when you have sworn. But guard 
your oaths. 251 Thus does God make 
clear to you His verses [i.e., revealed 
law] that you may be grateful. 

90. O you who have believed, indeed, in- 
toxicants, gambling, [sacrificing on] 
stone alters [to other than God], and 
divining arrows are but defilement 
from the work of Satan, so avoid 252 it 
that you may be successful. 



249 i.e., what is sworn to only out of habit of 
speech or what one utters carelessly without true 
intent. 

250 i.e., that for a deliberate oath. 

251 i.e., do not take oaths indiscriminately or swear 
to do that which is sinful, requiring expiation. 

252 The prohibition understood from the word 
"avoid" is stronger than if God had merely said, 
"Abstain." The former requires distancing oneself 
from anything remotely related to these practices. 

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91. Satan only wants to cause between you 
animosity and hatred through intox- 
icants and gambling and to avert you 
from the remembrance of God and 
from prayer. So will you not desist? 

92. And obey God and obey the Messenger 
and beware. And if you turn away - 
then know that upon Our Messenger is 
only [the responsibility for] clear notifi- 
cation. 

93. There is not upon those who believe 
and do righteousness [any] blame con- 
cerning what they have eaten [in the 
past] if they [now] fear God and believe 
and do righteous deeds, and then fear 
God and believe, and then fear God 
and do good; and God loves the doers 
of good. 

94. O you who have believed, God will 
surely test you through something of 
the game that your hands and spears 
[can] reach, that God may make evident 
those who fear Him unseen. And 
whoever transgresses after that - for 
him is a painful punishment. 

95. O you who have believed, do not kill 
game while you are in the state of 
ihram. 253 And whoever of you kills it 
intentionally - the penalty is an equiva- 
lent from sacrificial animals to what he 
killed, as judged by two just men 
among you as an offering [to God] de- 
livered to the Ka'bah, or an expiation: 
the feeding of needy people or the 
equivalent of that in fasting, that he 
may taste the consequence of his mat- 
ter [i.e., deed]. God has pardoned what 
is past; but whoever returns [to viola- 
tion], then God will take retribution 
from him. And God is Exalted in 
Mght and Owner of Retribution. 



253 See footnote to 5:1. 



96. Lawful to you is game from the sea and 
its food as provision for you and the 
travelers, 254 but forbidden to you is 
game from the land as long as you are 
in the state of ihram. And fear God to 
whom you will be gathered. 

97. God has made the Ka'bah, the Sacred 
House, standing 255 for the people and 
[has sanctified] the sacred months and 
the sacrificial animals and the garlands 
[by which they are identified]. That is 
so you may know that God knows 
what is in the heavens and what is in 
the earth and that God is Knowing of 
all things. 

98. Know that God is severe in penalty and 
that God is Forgiving and Merciful. 

99. Not upon the Messenger is [responsi- 
bility] except [for] notification. And 
God knows whatever you reveal and 
whatever you conceal. 

100. Say, "Not equal are the evil and the 
good, although the abundance of evil 
might impress you." So fear God, O 
you of understanding, that you may be 
successful. 

101. O you who have believed, do not ask 
about things which, if they are shown 
to you, will distress you. But if you ask 
about them while the Qur'an is being 
revealed, they will be shown to you. 
God has pardoned it [i.e., that which is 
past]; and God is Forgiving and For- 
bearing. 



254 Fishing and eating whatever is caught from the 
sea is permitted even during ihram, 

255 Conspicuously as a symbol of God's religion. 

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102. A people asked such [questions] before 
you; then they became thereby disbe- 
lievers. 256 

103. God has not appointed [such innova- 
tions as] bahlrah or sa'ibah or wasilah 
or ham. 257 But those who disbelieve in- 
vent falsehood about God, and most of 
them do not reason. 

1 04. And when it is said to them, "Come to 
what God has revealed and to the Mes- 
senger," they say, "Sufficient for us is 
that upon which we found our fathers." 
Even though their fathers knew noth- 
ing, nor were they guided? 

105. O you who have believed, upon you is 
[responsibility for] yourselves. Those 
who have gone astray will not harm you 
when you have been guided. To God is 
your return all together; then He will 
inform you of what you used to do. 

106. O you who have believed, testimony 
[should be taken] among you when 
death approaches one of you at the 
time of bequest - [that of] two just men 
from among you or two others from 
outside if you are traveling through the 
land and the disaster of death should 
strike you. Detain them after the prayer 
and let them both swear by God if you 
doubt [their testimony, saying], "We 
will not exchange it [i.e., our oath] for a 
price [i.e., worldly gain], even if he 
should be a near relative, and we will 
not withhold the testimony of [i.e., or- 
dained by] God. Indeed, we would then 
be of the sinful." 



256 By their unwillingness to carry out what was 
commanded to them. 

257 Categories of particular camels which were 
dedicated to the idols and set free to pasture, 
liberated from the service of man. 



107. But if it is found that those two were 
guilty of sin [i.e., perjury], let two others 
stand in their place [who are] foremost 
[in claim] from those who have a lawful 
right. And let them swear by God, 
"Our testimony is truer than their tes- 
timony, and we have not transgressed. 
Indeed, we would then be of the 
wrongdoers." 

108. That is more likely that they will give 
testimony according to its [true] objec- 
tive, or [at least] they would fear that 
[other] oaths might be taken after their 
oaths. And fear God and listen [i.e., 
obey Him]; and God does not guide the 
defiantly disobedient people. 

109. [Be warned of] the Day when God will 
assemble the messengers and say, 
"What was the response you received?" 
They will say, "We have no knowledge. 
Indeed, it is You who is Knower of the 
unseen" - 

110. [The Day] when God will say, "O Je- 
sus, Son of Mary, remember My favor 
upon you and upon your mother when 
I supported you with the Pure Spirit 
[i.e., the angel Gabriel] and you spoke 
to the people in the cradle and in ma- 
turity; and [remember] when I taught 
you writing and wisdom and the Torah 
and the Gospel; and when you de- 
signed from clay [what was] like the 
form of a bird with My permission, 
then you breathed into it, and it became 
a bird with My permission; and you 
healed the blind [from birth] and the 
leper with My permission; and when 
you brought forth the dead with My 
permission; and when I restrained the 
Children of Israel from [killing] you 
when you came to them with clear 
proofs and those who disbelieved 
among them said, "This is not but ob- 
vious magic." 



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111. And [remember] when I inspired to the 
disciples, "Believe in Me and in My 
messenger [i.e., Jesus]." They said, "We 

have believed, so bear witness that in- 117. 

deed we are Muslims [in submission to 
God]." 

112. [And remember] when the disciples 
said, "O Jesus, Son of Mary, can your 
Lord 258 send down to us a table [spread 
with food] from the heaven? [Jesus] 

said, "Fear God, if you should be be- 118. 

lievers." 

113. They said, "We wish to eat from it and 
let our hearts be reassured and know 

that you have been truthful to us and 119. 

be among its witnesses." 

114. Said Jesus, the son of Mary, "O God, 
our Lord, send down to us a table 
[spread with food] from the heaven to 
be for us a festival for the first of us 
and the last of us and a sign from You. 

And provide for us, and You are the 120. 

best of providers." 

115. God said, "Indeed, I will send it down 
to you, but whoever disbelieves after- 
wards from among you - then indeed 
will I punish him with a punishment by 
which I have not punished anyone 
among the worlds." 



Indeed, it is You who is Knower of the 
unseen. 

I said not to them except what You 
commanded me - to worship God, my 
Lord and your Lord. And I was a wit- 
ness over them as long as I was among 
them; but when You took me up, You 
were the Observer over them, and You 
are, over all things, Witness. 

If You should punish them - indeed 
they are Your servants; but if You for- 
give them - indeed it is You who is the 
Exalted in Might, the Wise." 

God will say, "This is the Day when the 
truthful will benefit from their truthful- 
ness." For them are gardens [in Para- 
dise] beneath which rivers flow, where- 
in they will abide forever, God being 
pleased with them, and they with Him. 
That is the great attainment. 

To God belongs the dominion of the 
heavens and the earth and whatever is 
within them. And He is over all things 
competent. 



116. And [beware the Day] when God will 
say, "O Jesus, Son of Maty, did you say 
to the people, 'Take me and my mother 
as deities besides God?'" He will say, 
"Exalted are You! It was not for me to 
say that to which I have no right. If I 
had said it, You would have known it. 
You know what is within myself, and I 
do not know what is within Yourself. 



i.e., will God consent to. (His ability is un- 



doubted) 



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Surah 6: al-An'am 

Period of Revelation 

According to a tradition of Ibn Abbas the whole of the Surah was revealed at one sitting at Makkah. Asma 
bint Yazid says, 'During the revelation of this Surah the Holy Prophet was riding on a she-camel and I was holding her nose- 
string. The she-camel began to feel the weight so heavily that it seemed as if her bones would break under it. ' We also learn 
from other hadith that it was revealed during the last year before the Hijrah (migration) and that the Prophet 
dictated the whole of the Surah the same night that it was revealed. 

Occasion of Revelation 

After determining the period of its revelation it is easier to visualize the background of the Surah. Twelve 
years had passed since the Prophet had been inviting the people to Islam. The antagonism and persecution 
by the Quraysh had become most savage and brutal and the majority of the Muslims had to leave their 
homes and migrate to Abyssinia. Above all the two great supporters of the Prophet, Abu Talib and his wife 
Khadijah were no more to help and give strength to him. Thus he was deprived of all the worldly support. 
But in spite of this he carried on his mission in the teeth of opposition. As a result of this on the one hand all 
the good people of Makkah and the surrounding clans gradually began to accept Islam; on the other hand the 
community as a whole was bent upon obduracy and rejection. Therefore if anyone showed any inclination 
towards Islam he was subjected to taunts and derision, physical violence and social boycott. It was in these 
dark circumstances that a ray of hope gleamed from Yathrib where Islam began to spread freely by the ef- 
forts of some influential people of Aws and Khazraj who had embraced Islam at Makkah. This was a humble 
beginning in the march of Islam towards success and none could foresee at that time the great potentialities 
that lay hidden in it. To a casual observer it appeared at that time as if Islam was merely a weak movement it 
had no material backing except the meager support of the Prophet's own family and of the few poor adhe- 
rents of the Movement. Obviously the latter could not give much help because they themselves had been 
cast out by their own people who had become their enemies and were persecuting them. 

Topics 

These were the conditions when this discourse was revealed. The main topics dealt with in this discourse 
may be divided under seven headings: 

1. Refutation of Shirk (polytheism) and invitation to the creed of Tawhid (Oneness of God). 

2. Enunciation of the doctrine of the "Life-after-Death" and refutation of the wrong notion that there 
was nothing beyond this worldly life. 

3. Refutation of the prevalent superstitions. 

4. Enunciation of the fundamental moral principles for the building up of the Islamic Society. 

5. Answers to the objections raised against the person of the Prophet and his mission. 

6. Comfort and encouragement to the Prophet and his followers who were at that time in a state of 
anxiety and despondency because of the apparent failure of the mission. 

7. Admonition warning and threats to the disbelievers and opponents to give up their apathy and 
haughtiness. It must however be noted that the above topics have not been dealt with one by one 
under separate headings but the discourse goes on as a continuous whole and these topics come 
under discussion over and over again in new and different ways. 

The Background of Makki Surahs 

As this is the first long Makki Surah in the order of the compilation of the Qur'an it will be useful to explain 
the historical background of Makki Surahs in general so that the reader may easily understand the Makki 
Surahs and our references to its different stages in connection with our commentary on them. First of all it 

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should be noted that comparatively very little material is available in regard to the background of the revela- 
tion of Makki Surahs whereas the period of the revelation of all the Madani Surahs is known or can be de- 
termined with a little effort. There are authentic hadith even in regard to the occasions of the revelation of 
the majority of the verses. On the other hand we do not have such detailed information regarding the Makki 
Surahs. There are only a few Surahs and verses which have authentic hadith concerning the time and occa- 
sion of their revelation. This is because the history of the Makki period had not been compiled in such detail 
as that of the Madani period. Therefore we have to depend on the internal evidence of these Surahs for de- 
termining the period of their revelation: for example the topics they discuss their subject matter their style 
and the direct or indirect references to the events and the occasions of their revelation. Thus it is obvious 
that with the help of such evidence as this we cannot say with precision that such and such Surah or verse 
was revealed on such and such an occasion. The most we can do is to compare the internal evidence of a 
Surah with the events of the life of the Prophet at Makkah and then come to a more or less correct conclu- 
sion as to what particular stage a certain Surah belongs. If we keep the above things in view the history of the 
mission of the Prophet at Makkah can be divided into four stages. 

1. The first stage began with his appointment as a Messenger and ended with the proclamation of 
Prophethood three years later. During this period the Message was given secretly to some selected 
persons only but the common people of Makkah were not aware of it. 

2. The second stage lasted for two years after the proclamation of his Prophethood. It began with op- 
position by individuals: then by and by it took the shape of antagonism ridicule derision accusation 
abuse and false propaganda then gangs were formed to persecute those Muslims who were compa- 
ratively poor weak' and helpless. 

3. The third stage lasted for about six years from the beginning of the persecution to the death of Abu 
Talib and Khadijah in the tenth year of Prophethood. During this period the persecution of the 
Muslims became so savage and brutal that many of them were forced to migrate to Abyssinia while 
social and economic boycott was applied against the remaining Believers. 

4. The fourth stage lasted for about three years from the tenth to the thirteenth year of Prophethood. 
This was a period of hard trials and grievous sufferings for the Prophet and his followers. Life had 
become unendurable at Makkah and there appeared to be no place of refuge even outside it. So 
much so that when the Prophet went to Ta'if, it offered no shelter or protection. Besides this, on 
the occasion of Hajj, he would appeal to each and every Arab clan to accept his invitation to Islam 
but met with blank refusal from every quarter. At the same time, the people of Makkah were hold- 
ing counsels to get rid of him by killing or imprisoning or banishing him from their city. It was at 
that most critical time that God opened for Islam the hearts of the People of Yathrib where he mi- 
grated at their invitation. 

In the succeeding Makki Surahs, we will determine on the basis of the distinctive features of each stage, and 
point out in the introduction, the particular stage in which a certain Makki Surah was revealed. 

Subject: Islamic Creed 

This Surah mainly discusses the different aspects of the major articles of the Islamic Creed: Tawhid Life- 
after-death, Prophethood and their practical application to human life. Side by side with this it refutes the 
erroneous beliefs of the opponents and answers their objections, warns and admonishes them and comforts 
the Prophet and his followers who were then suffering from persecution. Of course these themes have not 
been dealt with under separate heads but have been blended in an excellent manner. 



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Surah 6: al-An'am 259 

In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, 
the Most Merciful 



1. [All] praise is [due] to God, who cre- 
ated the heavens and the earth and 
made the darkness and the light. Then 
those who disbelieve equate [others] 
with their Lord. 

2. It is He who created you from clay and 
then decreed a term 260 and a specified 
time [known] to Him; 261 then [still] you 
are in dispute. 

3. And He is God, [the only deity] in the 
heavens and the earth. He knows your 
secret and what you make public, and 
He knows that which you earn. 

4. And no sign comes to them from the 
signs of their Lord except that they turn 
away therefrom. 

5. For they had denied the truth when it 
came to them, but there is going to 
reach them the news of what they used 
to ridicule. 262 

6. Have they not seen how many genera- 
tions We destroyed before them which 
We had established upon the earth as 
We have not established you? And We 
sent [rain from] the sky upon them in 
showers and made rivers flow beneath 
them; then We destroyed them for their 
sins and brought forth after them a 
generation of others. 

259 Al-An'am. The Grazing Livestock, specifically: 
camels, cattle, sheep and goats, as mentioned in 
verses 143-144 of this surah, 

260 An appointed time for death. 

261 p or resurrection. 

262 They will experience the reality of what they 
had denied and the consequence of their denial. 



7. And even if We had sent down to you, 
[O Muhammad], a written scripture on 
a page and they touched it with their 
hands, the disbelievers would say, "This 
is not but obvious magic." 

8. And they say, "Why was there not sent 
down to him an angel?" 263 But if We 
had sent down an angel, the matter 
would have been decided; 264 then they 
would not be reprieved. 

9. And if We had made him [i.e., the mes- 
senger] an angel, We would have made 
him [appear as] a man, and We would 
have covered them with that in which 
they cover themselves [i.e., confusion 
and doubt], 

10. And already were messengers ridiculed 
before you, but those who mocked 
them were enveloped by that which 
they used to ridicule. 

1 1 . Say, "Travel through the land; then ob- 
serve how was the end of the deniers." 

12. Say, "To whom belongs whatever is in 
the heavens and earth?" Say, "To God." 
He has decreed upon Himself mercy. 
He will surely assemble you for the Day 
of Resurrection, about which there is 
no doubt. Those who will lose them- 
selves [that Day] do not believe. 

13. And to Him belongs that which reposes 
by night and by day, and He is the 
Hearing, the Knowing. 

14. Say, "Is it other than God I should take 
as a protector, Creator of the heavens 
and earth, while it is He who feeds and 



263 In support of his prophethood. 

264 They would have been destroyed immediately 
with no chance for repentance. 

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15. 



is not fed?" Say, [O Muhammad], "In- 
deed, I have been commanded to be the 
first [among you] who submit [to God] 
and [was commanded], 'Do not ever be 
of the polytheists.' " 

Say, "Indeed I fear, if I should disobey 
my Lord, the punishment of a tre- 
mendous Day." 



18. And He is the subjugator over His ser- 
vants. And He is the Wise, the Ac- 
quainted [with all]. 

19. Say, "What thing is greatest in testimo- 
ny?" Say, "God is witness between me 
and you. And this Qur'an was revealed 
to me that I may warn you thereby and 
whomever it reaches. 265 Do you [truly] 
testify that with God there are other de- 
ities?" Say, "I will not testify [with 
you]." Say, "Indeed, He is but one God, 
and indeed, I am free of what you asso- 
ciate [with Him]." 

20. Those to whom We have given the 
Scripture recognize it 266 as they recog- 
nize their [own] sons. Those who will 
lose themselves [in the Hereafter] do 
not believe. 

21. And who is more unjust than one who 
invents about God a lie or denies His 



265 At every time and place until the Day of 
Judgement. 

266 The Qur'an. Also interpreted as "him," mean- 
ing Muhammad. 



verses? Indeed, the wrongdoers will not 
succeed. 

22. And [mention, O Muhammad], the Day 
We will gather them all together; then 
We will say to those who associated 
others with God, "Where are your 
'partners' that you used to claim [with 
Him]?" 



16. He from whom it is averted that Day - 23. 
[God] has granted him mercy. And that 

is the clear attainment. 

17. And if God should touch you with ad- 
versity, there is no remover of it except 24. 
Him. And if He touches you with good 

- then He is over all things competent. 



Then there will be no [excuse upon] 
examination except they will say, "By 
God, our Lord, we were not those who 
associated." 

See how they will lie about themselves. 
And lost from them will be what they 
used to invent. 



25. And among them are those who listen 
to you, 267 but We have placed over their 
hearts coverings, lest they understand it, 
and in their ears deafness. And if they 
should see every sign, they will not be- 
lieve in it. Even when they come to you 
arguing with you, those who disbelieve 
say, "This is not but legends of the 
former peoples." 

26. And they prevent [others] from him 
and are [themselves] remote from him. 
And they do not destroy except them- 
selves, but they perceive [it] not. 

27. If you could but see when they are 
made to stand before the Fire and will 
say, "Oh, would that we could be re- 
turned [to life on earth] and not deny 
the signs of our Lord and be among the 
believers." 

28. But what they concealed before has 
[now] appeared to them. And even if 
they were returned, they would return 



267 When you recite the Qur'an. 

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to that which they were forbidden; and 
indeed, they are liars. 

29. And they say, "There is none but our 
worldly life, and we will not be resur- 
rected." 

30. If you could but see when they will be 
made to stand before their Lord. He 
will say, "Is this not the truth?" They 
will say, "Yes, by our Lord." He will 
[then] say, "So taste the punishment be- 
cause you used to disbelieve." 

31. Those will have lost who deny the 
meeting with God, until when the Hour 
[of resurrection] comes upon them un- 
expectedly, they will say, "Oh, [how 
great is] our regret over what we neg- 
lected concerning it [i.e., the Hour]," 
while they bear their burdens [i.e., sins] 
on their backs. Unquestionably, evil is 
that which they bear. 

32. And the worldly life is not but amuse- 
ment and diversion; but the home of 
the Hereafter is best for those who fear 
God, so will you not reason? 

33. We know that you, [O Muhammad], are 
saddened by what they say. And indeed, 
they do not call you untruthful, but it is 
the verses of God that the wrongdoers 
reject. 

34. And certainly were messengers denied 
before you, but they were patient over 
[the effects of] denial, and they were 
harmed until Our victory came to them. 
And none can alter the words [i.e., de- 
crees] of God. And there has certainly 
come to you some information about 
the [previous] messengers. 

35. And if their evasion is difficult for you, 
then if you are able to seek a tunnel into 
the earth or a stairway into the sky to 



bring them a sign, [then do so]. But if 
God had willed, He would have united 
them upon guidance. So never be of the 
ignorant. 

36. Only those who hear will respond. But 
the dead 268 - God will resurrect them; 
then to Him they will be returned. 

37. And they say, "Why has a sign not been 
sent down to him from his Lord?" Say, 
"Indeed, God is Able to send down a 
sign, but most of them do not know." 

38. And there is no creature on [or within] 
the earth or bird that flies with its wings 
except [that they are] communities like 
you. We have not neglected in the Reg- 
ister 269 a thing. Then unto their Lord 
they will be gathered. 

39. But those who deny Our verses are deaf 
and dumb within darknesses. Whomev- 
er God wills - He leaves astray; and 
whomever He wills - He puts him on a 
straight path. 

40. Say, "Have you considered: 270 if there 
came to you the punishment of God or 
there came to you the Hour - is it other 
than God you would invoke, if you 
should be truthful?" 

41 . No, it is Him [alone] you would invoke, 
and He would remove that for which 
you invoked Him if He willed, and you 
would forget what you associate [with 
Him]. 

42. And We have already sent [messengers] 
to nations before you, [O Muhammad]; 
then We seized them with poverty and 

268 i.e., the dead of heart, meaning the disbeliev- 
ers. 

269 The preserved Slate (al-~Lan>h al-Mabfutff), in 
which all things are recorded. 

270 The meaning is understood to be "Tell me. . ." 

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hardship that perhaps they might hum- 
ble themselves [to Us]. 

43. Then why, when Our punishment came 
to them, did they not humble them- 
selves? But their hearts became har- 
dened, and Satan made attractive to 
them that which they were doing. 

44. So when they forgot that by which they 
had been reminded, 271 We opened to 
them the doors of every [good] thing 
until, when they rejoiced in that which 
they were given, We seized them sud- 
denly, and they were [then] in despair. 

45. So the people that committed wrong 
were eliminated. And praise to God, 
Lord of the worlds. 

46. Say, "Have you considered: 272 if God 
should take away your hearing and your 
sight and set a seal upon your hearts, 
which deity other than God could bring 
them [back] to you?" Look how We di- 
versify 273 the verses; then they [still] 
turn away. 

47. Say, "Have you considered: if the pu- 
nishment of God should come to you 
unexpectedly or manifestly, 274 will any 
be destroyed but the wrongdoing 
people?" 

48. And We send not the messengers ex- 
cept as bringers of good tidings and 
warners. So whoever believes and re- 
forms - there will be no fear concerning 
them, nor will they grieve. 



271 i.e., their trial by poverty and hardship or the 
warnings of their prophets. 

272 See footnote to verse 40. 

273 Repeat in various ways for emphasis and clari- 
fication. 

274 i.e., before your eyes. 



49. But those who deny Our verses - the 
punishment will touch 275 them for their 
defiant disobedience. 

50. Say, [O Muhammad], "I do not tell you 
that I have the depositories [containing 
the provision] of God or that I know 
the unseen, nor do I tell you that I am 
an angel. I only follow what is revealed 
to me." Say, "Is the blind equivalent to 
the seeing? Then will you not give 
thought?" 

51. And warn by it [i.e., the Qur'an] those 
who fear that they will be gathered be- 
fore their Lord - for them besides Him 
will be no protector and no intercessor 
- that they might become righteous. 

52. And do not send away those who call 
upon their Lord morning and after- 
noon, seeking His countenance. Not 
upon you is anything of their account 
and not upon them is anything of your 
account. 276 So were you to send them 
away, you would [then] be of the 
wrongdoers. 

53. And thus We have tried some of them 
through others that they [i.e., the disbe- 
lievers] might say, "Is it these whom 
God has favored among us?" Is not 
God most knowing of those who are 
grateful? 277 

54. And when those come to you who be- 
lieve in Our verses, say, "Peace be upon 



275 i.e., reach and afflict. 

276 No one is held accountable for the deeds or 
intentions of another. That is left to God's 
judgement. 

277 Those referred to in verses 52-54 are the poor 
Muslims who were sincere believers and students 
of the Prophet. The influential leaders of Qu- 
raysh had disdained to sit with them, saying to 
Prophet Muhammad, "Perhaps if you evicted 
them, we would follow you." 

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you. Your Lord has decreed upon Him- 
self mercy: that any of you who does 
wrong out of ignorance and then re- 
pents after that and corrects himself - 
indeed, He is Forgiving and Merciful." 

55. And thus do We detail the verses, and 
[thus] the way of the criminals will be- 
come evident. 

56. Say, "Indeed, I have been forbidden to 
worship those you invoke besides 
God." Say, "I will not follow your de- 
sires, for I would then have gone astray, 
and I would not be of the [righdy] 
guided." 

57. Say, "Indeed, I am on clear evidence 
from my Lord, and you have denied it. I 
do not have that for which you are im- 
patient. 278 The decision is only for God. 
He relates the truth, and He is the best 
of deciders." 

58. Say, "If I had that for which you are 
impatient, the matter would have been 
decided between me and you, but God 
is most knowing of the wrongdoers." 

59. And with Him are the keys of the un- 
seen; none knows them except Him. 
And He knows what is on the land and 
in the sea. Not a leaf falls but that He 
knows it. And no grain is there within 
the darknesses of the earth and no 
moist or dry [thing] but that it is [writ- 
ten] in a clear record. 

60. And it is He who takes your souls by 
night 279 and knows what you have 
committed by day. Then He revives you 
therein [i.e., by day] that a specified 



term 280 may be fulfilled. Then to Him 
will be your return; then He will inform 
you about what you used to do. 

61. And He is the subjugator over His ser- 
vants, and He sends over you guardian- 
angels until, when death comes to one 
of you, Our messengers [i.e., angles of 
death] take him, and they do not fail [in 
their duties] . 

62. Then they [i.e., His servants] are re- 
turned to God, their true Lord. Unques- 
tionably, His is the judgement, and He 
is the swiftest of accountants. 

63. Say, "Who rescues you from the dark- 
nesses of the land and sea [when] you 
call upon Him imploring [aloud] and 
privately, 'If He should save us from 
this [crisis], we will surely be among the 
thankful.' " 

64. Say, "It is God who saves you from it 
and from every distress; then you [still] 
associate others with Him." 

65. Say, "He is the [one] Able to send upon 
you affliction from above you or from 
beneath your feet or to confuse you [so 
you become] sects 281 and make you 
taste the violence of one another." 
Look how We diversify the signs that 
they might understand. 

66. But your people have denied it while it 
is the truth. Say, "I am not over you a 
manager [i.e., authority]." 

67. For every news [i.e., happening] is a 
finality; 282 and you are going to know. 



278 The disbelievers would challenge the Prophet, 
telling him to bring on God's punishment if he 
should be truthful in his warning. 

279 i.e., when you sleep. 



280 One's decreed life span. 

281 Following your own inclinations rather that 
the truth, biased and hostile toward each other. 

282 Other shades of meaning include "a perma- 
nence," "a realization" and "a time of stability." 

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68. And when you see those who engage in 
[offensive] discourse 283 concerning Our 
verses, then turn away from them until 
they enter into another conversion. And 
if Satan should cause you to forget, then 
do not remain after the reminder with 
the wrongdoing people. 

69. And those who fear God are not held 
accountable for them [i.e., the disbeliev- 
ers] at all, but [only for] a reminder - 
that perhaps they will fear Him. 

70. And leave those who take their religion 
as amusement and diversion and whom 
the worldly life has deluded. But remind 
with it [i.e., the Qur'an], lest a soul be 
given up to destruction for what it 
earned; it will have other than God no 
protector and no intercessor. And if it 
should offer every compensation, it 
would not be taken from it [i.e., that 
soul] . Those are the ones who are given 
to destruction for what they have 
earned. For them will be a drink of 
scalding water and a painful punish- 
ment because they used to disbelieve. 

71. Say, "Shall we invoke instead of God 
that which neither benefits us nor 
harms us and be turned back on our 
heels after God has guided us? [We 
would then be] like one whom the de- 
vils enticed [to wander] upon the earth 
confused, [while] he has companions 
inviting him to guidance, [calling], 
'Come to us.' " 284 Say, "Indeed, the 
guidance of God is the [only] guidance; 
and we have been commanded to sub- 
mit to the Lord of the worlds 



283 i.e., denials or mockery. 

284 The example given is of one who has lost his 
way and is further confused by the evil ones who 
tempt him to follow various directions, all leading 
to destruction. Although his sincere friends call 
him back to the right path, he ignores them. 



72. And to establish prayer and fear Him." 
And it is He to whom you will be ga- 
thered. 

73. And it is He who created the heavens 
and earth in truth. And the day [i.e., 
whenever] He says, "Be," and it is, His 
word is the truth. 285 And His is the do- 
minion [on] the Day the Horn is blown. 
[He is] Knower of the unseen 286 and the 
witnessed; 287 and He is the Wise, the 
Acquainted. 

74. And [mention, O Muhammad], when 
Abraham said to his father Azar, "Do 
you take idols as deities? Indeed, I see 
you and your people to be in manifest 
error." 

75. And thus did We show Abraham the 
realm of the heavens and the earth that 
he would be among the certain [in 
faith]. 

76. So when the night covered him [with 
darkness], he saw a star. He said, "This 
is my lord." 288 But when it set, he said, 
"I like not those that set [i.e., disap- 
pear]." 

77. And when he saw the moon rising, he 
said, "This is my lord." But when it set, 

285 When interpreted as the "Day" (of resurrec- 
tion), the sentence would read: "And the Day He 
says, 'Be,' and it is, His word will be the truth." 

286 That which is absent, invisible, or beyond the 
perception of the senses or of the mind and 
therefore is unknown to man, except for what 
God chooses to reveal. 

287 What is the present, visible and known to 
man. The knowledge of God includes the reality 
of all things and all occurrences, no matter how 
they might appear to human beings. 

288 In verses 76-79, beginning from the People's 
own assertions, Abraham presents a picture of his 
dissatisfaction as the only logical conclusion one 
could reach, in order to show them the futility of 
their false objects of worship. 

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he said, "Unless my Lord guides me, I 84. 

will surely be among the people gone 
astray." 

78. And when he saw the sun rising, he 
said, "This is my lord; this is greater." 
But when it set, he said, "O my people, 
indeed I am free from what you asso- 
ciate with God. 85. 



87. 



79. Indeed, I have turned my face [i.e., self] 
toward He who created the heavens and 
the earth, inclining toward truth, and I 
am not of those who associate others 
with God." 

80. And his people argued with him. He 
said, "Do you argue with me concern- 
ing God while He has guided me? And 
I fear not what you associate with Him 
[and will not be harmed] unless my 
Lord should will something. My Lord 
encompasses all things in knowledge; 
then will you not remember? 



81. And how should I fear what you asso- 
ciate while you do not fear that you 89. 
have associated with God that for 
which He has not sent down to you any 
authority? So which of the two parties 
has more right to security, if you should 
know?" 



And We gave to him [i.e., Abraham] 
Isaac and Jacob - all [of them] We 
guided. And Noah, We guided before; 
and among his descendants, David and 
Solomon and Job and Joseph and Mos- 
es and Aaron. Thus do We reward the 
doers of good. 

And Zechariah and John and Jesus and 
Elias - and all were of the righteous. 



86. And Ishmael and Elisha and Jonah and 
Lot - and all [of them] We preferred 
over the worlds. 



And [some] among their fathers and 
their descendants and their brothers - 
and We chose them and We guided 
them to a straight path. 

That is the guidance of God by which 
He guides whomever He wills of His 
servants. But if they had associated oth- 
ers with God, then worthless for them 
would be whatever they were doing. 

Those are the ones to whom We gave 
the Scripture and authority and pro- 
phethood. But if they [i.e., the disbe- 
lievers] deny it, then We have entrusted 
it to a people who are not therein disbe- 
lievers. 



82. They who believe and do not mix their 
belief with injustice 289 - those will have 
security, and they are [rightly] guided. 

83. And that was Our [conclusive] argu- 
ment which We gave Abraham against 
his people. We raise by degrees whom 
We will. Indeed, your Lord is Wise and 
Knowing. 



90. Those are the ones whom God has 
guided, so from their guidance take an 
example. Say, "I ask of you for it [i.e., 
this message] no payment. It is not but 
a reminder for the worlds." 

91. And they did not appraise God with 
true appraisal 290 when they said, "God 
did not reveal to a human being any- 
thing." Say, "Who revealed the Scrip- 
ture that Moses brought as light and 



289 Specifically, the association of others in divini- 
ty with God. 



290 i.e., they did not appreciate the extent of His 
ability and wisdom. 

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guidance to the people? You [Jews] 
make it into pages, disclosing [some of] 
it and concealing much. And you 291 
were taught that which you knew not - 
neither you nor your fathers." Say, 
"God [revealed it]." Then leave them in 
their [empty] discourse, amusing them- 
selves. 

92. And this is a Book which We have sent 
down, blessed and confirming what was 
before it, that you may warn the Mother 
of Cities [i.e., Makkah] and those 
around it. 292 Those who believe in the 
Hereafter believe in it, and they are 
maintaining their prayers. 

93. And who is more unjust than one who 
invents a lie about God or says, "It has 
been inspired to me," while nothing has 
been inspired to him, and one who says, 
"I will reveal [something] like what God 
revealed." And if you could but see 
when the wrongdoers are in the over- 
whelming pangs of death while the an- 
gels extend their hands, 293 [saying], 
"Discharge your souls! Today you will 
be awarded the punishment of [ex- 
treme] humiliation for what you used to 
say against God other than the truth 
and [that] you were, toward His verses, 
being arrogant." 

94. [It will be said to them], "And you have 
certainly come to Us alone [i.e., indivi- 
dually] as We created you the first time, 
and you have left whatever We bes- 
towed upon you behind you. And We 
do not see with you your 'intercessors' 
which you claimed that they were 
among you associates [of God]. It has 



[all] been severed between you, 294 and 
lost from you is what you used to 
claim." 

95. Indeed, God is the cleaver of grain and 
date seeds. 295 He brings the living out of 
the dead and brings the dead out of the 
living. That is God; so how are you de- 
luded? 

96. [He is] the cleaver of daybreak and has 
made the night for rest and the sun and 
moon for calculation. 296 That is the de- 
termination of the Exalted in Might, the 
Knowing. 

97. And it is He who placed for you the 
stars that you may be guided by them 
through the darknesses of the land and 
sea. We have detailed the signs for a 
people who know. 

98. And it is He who produced you from 
one soul and [gave you] a place of dwel- 
ling and of storage. 297 We have detailed 
the signs for a people who understand. 

99. And it is He who sends down rain from 
the sky, and We produce thereby the 
growth of all things. We produce from 
it greenery from which We produce 
grains arranged in layers. And from the 
palm trees - of its emerging fruit are 
clusters hanging low. And [We produce] 
gardens of grapevines and olives and 
pomegranates, similar yet varied. Look 
at [each of] its fruit when it yields and 
[at] its ripening. Indeed in that are signs 
for a people who believe. 



291 The Jews, or it may refer to the believers, who 
are taught by the Qur'an. 

292 i.e., all other peoples. 

293 Striking them, as they are unwilling to give up 



their souls for judgement. 



294 Between yourselves and the claimed associates 
and intercessors. 

295 He (God) causes them to split and sprout. 

296 Q r "according to calculation," referring to 
their precise movement. 

297 In the earth. See 77:25-26. 

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100. But they have attributed to God part- 
ners - the jinn, while He has created 
them - and have fabricated for Him 
sons and daughters. Exalted is He and 
high above what they describe. 

101. [He is] Originator of the heavens and 
the earth. How could He have a son 
when He does not have a companion 
[i.e., wife] and He created all things? 
And He is, of all things, Knowing. 

102. That is God, your Lord; there is no dei- 
ty except Him, the Creator of all things, 
so worship Him. And He is Disposer of 
all things. 

103. Vision perceives Him not, 298 but He 
perceives [all] vision; and He is the Sub- 
de, the Acquainted. 

104. There has come to you enlightenment 
from your Lord. So whoever will see 
does so for [the benefit of] his soul, and 
whoever is blind [does harm] against it. 
And [say], "I am not a guardian over 
you." 299 

105. And thus do We diversify the verses so 
they [i.e., the disbelievers] will say, "You 
have studied," 300 and so We may make 
it [i.e., the Qur'an] clear for a people 
who know. 

106. Follow, [O Muhammad], what has been 
revealed to you from your Lord - there 
is no deity except Him - and turn away 
from those who associate others with 
God. 



298 In the life of this world. The people of Para- 
dise will be able to see God in the Hereafter. See 
75:22-23. 

299 The Prophet is directed to disassociate himself 
from all erroneous belief and practice. 

300 Accusing the Prophet of having learned from 
the Jews and Christians. 



107. But if God had willed, they would not 
have associated. And We have not ap- 
pointed you over them as a guardian, 
nor are you a manager over them. 301 

108. And do not insult those they invoke 
other than God, lest they insult God in 
enmity without knowledge. Thus We 
have made pleasing to every community 
their deeds. Then to their Lord is their 
return, and He will inform them about 
what they used to do. 

109. And they swear by God their strongest 
oaths that if a sign came to them, they 
would surely believe in it. Say, "The 
signs are only with [i.e., from] God." 
And what will make you perceive that 
even if it [i.e., a sign] came, they would 
not believe. 

110. And We will turn away their hearts and 
their eyes just as they refused to believe 
in it [i.e., the revelation] the first time. 
And We will leave them in their trans- 
gression, wandering blindly. 

111. And even if We had sent down to them 
the angels [with the message] and the 
dead spoke to them [of it] and We ga- 
thered together every [created] thing in 
front of them, they would not believe 
unless God should will. But most of 
them, [of that], are ignorant. 

112. And thus We have made for every 
prophet an enemy - devils from man- 
kind and jinn, inspiring to one another 
decorative speech in delusion. But if 
your Lord had willed, they would not 
have done it, so leave them and that 
which they invent. 



301 The Prophet's duty did not go beyond delivery 
of the message. 

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113. And [it is] so the hearts of those who 
disbelieve in the Hereafter will incline 
toward it [i.e., deceptive speech] and 
that they will be satisfied with it and 
that they will commit that which they 
are committing. 

114. [Say], "Then is it other than God I 
should seek as judge while it is He who 
has revealed to you the Book [i.e., the 
Qur'an] explained in detail?" And those 
to whom We [previously] gave the 
Scripture know that it is sent down 
from your Lord in truth, so never be 
among the doubters. 

115. And the word of your Lord has been 
fulfilled in truth and in justice. None 
can alter His words, and He is the 
Hearing, the Knowing. 

116. And if you obey most of those upon 
the earth, they will mislead you from 
the way of God. They follow not except 
assumption, and they are not but falsify- 
ing. 302 

117. Indeed, your Lord is most knowing of 
who strays from His way, and He is 
most knowing of the [rightly] guided. 

118. So eat of that [meat] upon which the 
name of God has been mentioned, 303 if 
you are believers in His verses [i.e., re- 
vealed law] . 

119. And why should you not eat of that 
upon which the name of God has been 
mentioned while He has explained in 
detail to you what He has forbidden 
you, excepting that to which you are 
compelled. 304 And indeed do many lead 

302 Out if ignorance, conjecture and supposition. 

303 At the time of slaughter. 

304 In cases of dire necessity, what is normally 
prohibited becomes permissible, but only to the 
extent of the need. 



[others] astray through their [own] in- 
clinations without knowledge. Indeed, 
your Lord - He is most knowing of the 
transgressors. 

120. And leave [i.e., desist from] what is ap- 
parent of sin and what is concealed the- 
reof. Indeed, those who earn [blame 
for] sin will be recompensed for that 
which they used to commit. 

121. And do not eat of that upon which the 
name of God has not been mentioned, 
for indeed, it is grave disobedience. And 
indeed do the devils inspire their allies 
[among men] to dispute with you. And 
if you were to obey them, indeed, you 
would be associators [of others with 
Him]. 305 

122. And is one who was dead and We gave 
him life and made for him light by 
which to walk among the people like 
one who is in darkness, never to emerge 
therefrom? Thus it has been made 
pleasing to the disbelievers that which 
they were doing. 

123. And thus We have placed within every 
city the greatest of its criminals to con- 
spire therein. But they conspire not ex- 
cept against themselves, and they perce- 
ive [it] not. 

124. And when a sign comes to them, they 
say, "Never will we believe until we are 
given like that which was given to the 
messengers of God." God is most 
knowing of where [i.e., with whom] He 
places His message. There will afflict 
those who committed crimes debase- 
ment before God and severe punish- 
ment for what they used to conspire. 



305 i.e., by your obedience to them 
being the bases of worship. 



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125. So whoever God wants to guide - He 
expands his breast to [contain] Islam; 
and whoever He wants to misguide 306 - 
He makes his breast tight and con- 
stricted as though he were climbing into 
the sky. Thus does God place defile- 
ment upon those who do not believe. 

126. And this is the path of your Lord, [lead- 
ing] straight. We have detailed the 
verses for a people who remember. 

127. For them will be the Home of Peace 
[i.e., Paradise] with their Lord. And He 
will be their protecting friend because 
of what they used to do. 

128. And [mention, O Muhammad], the Day 
when He will gather them together [and 
say], "O company of jinn, you have 
[misled] many of mankind." And their 
allies among mankind will say, "Our 
Lord, some of us made use of others, 
and we have [now] reached our term 
which You appointed for us." He will 
say, "The Fire is your residence, where- 
in you will abide eternally, except for 
what God wills. Indeed, your Lord is 
Wise and Knowing." 

129. And thus will We make some of the 
wrongdoers allies of others for what 
they used to earn. 307 

130. "O company of jinn and mankind, 308 
did there not come to you messengers 
from among you, relating to you My 
verses and warning you of the meeting 
of this Day of yours?" They will say, 

306 As a result of the person's arrogance and per- 
sistence in sin. 

307 Another interpretation pertaining to this world 
is "And thus do We make some of the wrong- 
doers allies of others for what they have been 
earning." 

308 They will be reproached thus at the Judge- 
ment. 



131. 



"We bear witness against ourselves"; 
and the worldly life had deluded them, 
and they will bear witness against them- 
selves that they were disbelievers. 

That is because your Lord would not 
destroy the cities for wrongdoing 309 
while their people were unaware. 



132. And for all are degrees [i.e., positions 
resulting] from what they have done. 
And your Lord is not unaware of what 
they do. 

133. And your Lord is the Free of need, the 
possessor of mercy. If He wills, He can 
do away with you and give succession 
after you to whomever He wills, just as 
He produced you from the descendants 
of another people. 

134. Indeed, what you are promised is com- 
ing, and you will not cause failure [to 
God]. 310 

135. Say, "O my people, work according to 
your position; [for] indeed, I am work- 
ing. And you are going to know who 
will have succession in the home. 311 In- 
deed, the wrongdoers will not succeed." 

136. And they [i.e., the polytheists] assign to 
God from that which He created of 
crops and livestock a share and say, 
"This is for God," by their claim, "and 
this is for our 'partners' [associated with 
Him]." But what is for their "partners" 
does not reach God, while what is for 
God - this reaches their "partners." Evil 
is that which they rule. 



309 Q r " un j us tly." 

310 i.e., You will neither escape nor prevent its 
occurrence. 

311 i.e., in the land or in the Hereafter. 

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137. And likewise, to many of the polytheists 
their partners 312 have made [to seem] 
pleasing the killing of their children in 
order to bring about their destruction 
and to cover them with confusion in 
their religion. And if God had willed, 
they would not have done so. So leave 
them and that which they invent. 

138. And they say, "These animals 313 and 
crops are forbidden; no one may eat 
from them except whom we will," by 
their claim. And there are those [ca- 
mels] whose backs are forbidden [by 
them] 314 and those upon which the 
name of God is not mentioned 315 - [all 
of this] an invention of untruth about 
Him. 316 He will punish them for what 
they were inventing. 

139. And they say, "What is in the bellies of 
these animals 317 is exclusively for our 
males and forbidden to our females. 
But if it is [born] dead, then all of them 
have shares therein." He will punish 
them for their description. 318 Indeed, 
He is Wise and Knowing. 

140. Those will have lost who killed their 
children in foolishness without know- 
ledge and prohibited what God had 
provided for them, inventing untruth 
about God. They have gone astray and 
were not [rightly] guided. 



141. And He it is who causes gardens to 
grow, [both] trellised and untrellised, 
and palm trees and crops of different 
[kinds of] food and olives and pome- 
granates, similar and dissimilar. Eat of 
[each of] its fruit when it yields and give 
its due [zakah] on the day of its harvest. 
And be not excessive. 319 Indeed, He 
does not like those who commit excess. 

142. And of the grazing livestock are carriers 
[of burdens] and those [too] small. Eat 
of what God has provided for you and 
do not follow the footsteps of Satan. 320 
Indeed, he is to you a clear enemy. 

143. [They are] eight mates - of the sheep, 
two and of the goats, two. Say, "Is it the 
two males He has forbidden or the two 
females or that which the wombs of the 
two females contain? Inform me with 
knowledge, if you should be truthful." 

144. And of the camels, two and of the cat- 
tle, two. Say, "Is it the two males He 
has forbidden or the two females or 
that which the wombs of the two fe- 
males contain? Or were you witnesses 
when God charged you with this? Then 
who is more unjust than one who in- 
vents a lie about God to mislead the 
people by [something] other than 
knowledge? Indeed, God does not 
guide the wrongdoing people." 



312 Their evil associates. 

313 The four categories of grazing livestock called 
"an'dtn" collectively. 

314 See 5:103. 

315 At the time of slaughter. Rather, they are dedi- 
cated to others among their "deities." 

316 i.e., false assertions that such practices are part 
of God's religion. 

317 i.e., their milk and offspring. 

318 Of what is lawful and unlawful according to 
their whims. 



145. Say, "I do not find within that which 
was revealed to me [anything] forbidden 
to one who would eat it unless it be a 
dead animal or blood spilled out or the 
flesh of swine - for indeed, it is impure - 
or it be [that slaughtered in] disobe- 
dience, dedicated to other than God. 321 



319 In eating, as well as in all things generally. 

320 As the disbelievers have done in making their 
own rulings about what is permissible and what is 
prohibited. 

321 Refer to 2:173 and 5:3. 



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But whoever is forced [by necessity], 
neither desiring [it] nor transgressing [its 
limit], then indeed, your Lord is Forgiv- 
ing and Merciful." 

146. And to those who are Jews We prohi- 
bited every animal of uncloven hoof; 
and of the cattle and the sheep We pro- 
hibited to them their fat, except what 
adheres to their backs or the entrails or 
what is joined with bone. [By] that We 
repaid them for their injustice. And in- 
deed, We are truthful. 

147. So if they deny you, [O Muhammad], 
say, "Your Lord is the possessor of vast 
mercy; but His punishment cannot be 
repelled from the people who are crim- 
inals." 

148. Those who associated with God will 
say, "If God had willed, we would not 
have associated [anything] and neither 
would our fathers, nor would we have 
prohibited anything." Likewise did 
those before deny until they tasted Our 
punishment. Say, "Do you have any 
knowledge that you can produce for us? 
You follow not except assumption, and 
you are not but falsifying." 

149. Say, "With God is the far-reaching [i.e., 
conclusive] argument. If He had willed, 
He would have guided you all." 

150. Say, [O Muhammad], "Bring forward 
your witnesses who will testify that God 
has prohibited this." And if they testify, 
do not testify with them. And do not 
follow the desires of those who deny 
Our verses and those who do not be- 
lieve in the Hereafter, while they equate 
[others] with their Lord. 

151. Say, "Come, I will recite what your 
Lord has prohibited to you. [He com- 
mands] that you not associate anything 



with Him, and to parents, good treat- 
ment, and do not kill your children out 
of poverty; We will provide for you and 
them. And do not approach immorali- 
ties - what is apparent of them and what 
is concealed. And do not kill the soul 
which God has forbidden [to be killed] 
except by [legal] right. This has He in- 
structed you that you may use reason." 

152. And do not approach the orphan's 
property except in a way that is best 
[i.e., intending improvement] until he 
reaches maturity. And give full measure 
and weight in justice. We do not charge 
any soul except [with that within] its ca- 
pacity. And when you speak [i.e., testi- 
fy], be just, even if [it concerns] a near 
relative. And the covenant of God ful- 
fill. This has He instructed you that you 
may remember. 

153. And, [moreover], this is My path, which 
is straight, so follow it; and do not fol- 
low [other] ways, for you will be sepa- 
rated from His way. This has He in- 
structed you that you may become righ- 
teous. 

154. Then 322 We gave Moses the Scripture, 
making complete [Our favor] upon the 
one who did good [i.e., Moses] and as a 
detailed explanation of all things and as 
guidance and mercy that perhaps in [the 
matter of] the meeting with their Lord 
they would believe. 

155. And this [Qur'an] is a Book We have 
revealed [which is] blessed, so follow it 
and fear God that you may receive mer- 
cy. 

156. [We revealed it] lest you say, "The 
Scripture was only sent down to two 



322 Meaning "additionally" or "moreover," not 
denoting time sequence. 



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groups before us, but we were of their 
study unaware," 

157. Or lest you say, "If only the Scripture 
had been revealed to us, we would have 
been better guided than they." So there 
has [now] come to you a clear evidence 
from your Lord and a guidance and 
mercy. Then who is more unjust than 
one who denies the verses of God and 
turns away from them? We will recom- 
pense those who turn away from Our 
verses with the worst of punishment for 
their having turned away. 

158. Do they [then] wait for anything except 
that the angels should come to them or 
your Lord should come or that there 
come some of the signs 323 of your 
Lord? The Day that some of the signs 
of your Lord will come no soul will 
benefit from its faith as long as it had 
not believed before or had earned 
through its faith some good. Say, "Wait. 
Indeed, we [also] are waiting." 

159. Indeed, those who have divided their 
religion and become sects - you, [O 
Muhammad], are not [associated] with 
them in anything. Their affair is only 
[left] to God; then He will inform them 
about what they used to do. 

160. Whoever comes [on the Day of Judge- 
ment] with a good deed will have ten 
times the like thereof [to his credit], and 
whoever comes with an evil deed will 
not be recompensed except the like the- 
reof; and they will not be wronged. 324 

161. Say, "Indeed, my Lord has guided me 
to a straight path - a correct religion - 
the way of Abraham, inclining toward 



truth. And he was not among those 
who associated others with God." 

162. Say, "Indeed, my prayer, my rites of 
sacrifice, my living and my dying are for 
God, Lord of the worlds. 

163. No partner has He. And this I have 
been commanded, and I am the first 
[among you] of the Muslims." 325 

164. Say, "Is it other than God I should de- 
sire as a lord while He is the Lord of all 
things? And every soul earns not 
[blame] except against itself, and no 
bearer of burdens will bear the burden 
of another. Then to your Lord is your 
return, and He will inform you concern- 
ing that over which you used to differ." 

165. And it is He who has made you succes- 
sors upon the earth and has raised some 
of you above others in degrees [of rank] 
that He may try you through what He 
has given you. Indeed, your Lord is 
swift in penalty; but indeed, He is For- 
giving and Merciful. 



323 Those denoting the approach of the Last 
Hour. 

324 i.e., treated unjustly. 



325 i.e., those who submit to the will of God. 

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Surah 7: al-A'raf 

Period of Revelation 

A study of its contents clearly shows that the period of its revelation is about the same as that of al-An'am, 
i.e. the last year of the Prophet's life at Makkah, but it cannot be asserted with certainty which of these two 
were sent down earlier. Anyhow the manner of its admonition clearly indicates that it belongs to the same 
period. 

Subject: Invitation to the Divine Message 

The principal subject of this Surah is "invitation to the Divine Message sent down to Muhammad" which is 
implied in a warning. This is because the Messenger had spent a long time in admonishing the people of 
Makkah without any tangible effect on them. Nay, they had turned a deaf ear to his message and become so 
obdurate and antagonistic that in accordance with the Divine Design, the Messenger was going to be com- 
manded to leave them and turn to other people. That is why they are being admonished to accept the Mes- 
sage but at the same time they are being warned in strong terms of the consequences that followed the 
wrong attitude of the former people towards their Messengers. Now that the Prophet was going to migrate 
from Makkah the concluding portion of the address has been directed towards the people of the Book with 
whom he was going to come into contact. This meant that the time of migration was coming near and the 
"invitation" was going to be extended to mankind in general and was not to be confined to his own people 
in particular as before. During the course of the address to the Jews the consequences of their hypocritical 
conduct towards Prophethood have also been pointed out clearly for they professed to believe in Prophet 
Moses but in practice opposed his teachings, disobeyed him and worshipped falsehood and consequently 
were afflicted with humiliation and disgrace. 

At the end of the Surah some instructions have been given to the Prophet and his followers for carrying out 
the work of the propagation of Islam with wisdom. The most important of these is that they should show 
patience and exercise restraint in answer to the provocations of their opponents. Above all they have been 
advised that under stress of the excitement of feeling they should not take any wrong step that might harm 
their cause. 



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Surah 7: al-A'raf 326 

In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, 
the Most Merciful 

1 . Alif, Lam, Meem, Sad. 327 

2. [This is] a Book revealed to you, [O 
Muhammad] - so let there not be in 
your breast distress therefrom - that 
you may warn thereby and as a remind- 
er to the believers. 

3. Follow, [O mankind], what has been 
revealed to you from your Lord and do 
not follow other than Him any allies. 
Litde do you remember. 

4. And how many cities have We de- 
stroyed, and Our punishment came to 
them at night or while they were sleep- 
ing at noon. 

5. And their declaration when Our pu- 
nishment came to them was only that 
they said, "Indeed, we were wrong- 
doers!" 

6. Then We will surely question those to 
whom [a message] was sent, and We 
will surely question the messengers. 

7. Then We will surely relate [their deeds] 
to them with knowledge, and We were 
not [at all] absent. 

8. And the weighing [of deeds] that Day 
will be the truth. So those whose scales 
are heavy - it is they who will be the 
successful. 

9. And those whose scales are light - they 
are the ones who will lose themselves 



for what injustice they were doing to- 
ward Our verses. 

10. And We have certainly established you 
upon the earth and made for you there- 
in ways of livelihood. Litde are you 
grateful. 

1 1 . And We have certainly created you, [O 
mankind] , and given you [human] form. 
Then We said to the angels, "Prostrate 
to Adam"; so they prostrated, except 
for Iblees. 328 He was not of those who 
prostrated. 

12. [God] said, "What prevented you from 
prostrating when I commanded you?" 
[Satan] said, "I am better than him. You 
created me from fire and created him 
from clay [i.e., earth]." 

13. [God] said, "Descend from it [i.e., Pa- 
radise], for it is not for you to be arro- 
gant therein. So get out; indeed, you are 
of the debased." 

14. [Satan] said, "Reprieve me until the 
Day they are resurrected." 

15. [God] said, "Indeed, you are of those 
reprieved." 

16. [Satan] said, "Because You have put me 
in error, I will surely sit in wait for 
them [i.e., mankind] on Your straight 
path. 

17. Then I will come to them from before 
them and from behind them and on 
their right and on their left, and You 
will not find most of them grateful [to 
You]." 

18. [God] said, "Get out of it [i.e., Para- 
dise], reproached and expelled. Whoev- 



326 Al-A'raf. The Elevations, referring to the parti- 
tion between Paradise and Hell. 

327 See footnote to 2:1. 



328 Satan. See footnote to 2:34. 

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er follows you among them - I will 
surely fill Hell with you, all together." 

19. And "O Adam, dwell, you and your 
wife, in Paradise and eat from wherever 
you will but do not approach this tree, 
lest you be among the wrongdoers." 

20. But Satan whispered to them to make 
apparent to them that which was con- 
cealed from them of their private parts. 
He said, "Your Lord did not forbid you 
this tree except that you become angels 
or become of the immortal." 

21. And he swore [by God] to them, "In- 
deed, I am to you from among the sin- 
cere advisors." 

22. So he made them fall, through decep- 
tion. And when they tasted of the tree, 
their private parts became apparent to 
them, and they began to fasten together 
over themselves from the leaves of Pa- 
radise. And their Lord called to them, 
"Did I not forbid you from that tree 
and tell you that Satan is to you a clear 
enemy?" 

23. They said, "Our Lord, we have 
wronged ourselves, and if You do not 
forgive us and have mercy upon us, we 
will surely be among the losers." 

24. [God] said, "Descend, being to one 
another enemies. And for you on the 
earth is a place of settlement and en- 
joyment [i.e., provision] for a time." 

25. He said, "Therein you will live, and 
therein you will die, and from it you 
will be brought forth." 

26. O children of Adam, We have bes- 
towed upon you clothing to conceal 
your private parts and as adornment. 
But the clothing of righteousness - that 



is best. That is from the signs of God 
that perhaps they will remember. 

27. O children of Adam, let not Satan 
tempt you as he removed your parents 
from Paradise, stripping them of their 
clothing 329 to show them their private 
parts. Indeed, he sees you, he and his 
tribe, from where you do not see them. 
Indeed, We have made the devils allies 
to those who do not believe. 

28. And when they commit an immorality, 
they say, "We found our fathers doing 
it, and God has ordered us to do it." 
Say, "Indeed, God does not order im- 
morality. Do you say about God that 
which you do not know?" 

29. Say, [O Muhammad], "My Lord has 
ordered justice and that you maintain 
yourselves [in worship of Him] at every 
place [or time] of prostration, and in- 
voke Him, sincere to Him in religion." 
Just as He originated you, you will re- 
turn [to life] - 

30. A group [of you] He guided, and a 
group deserved [to be in] error. Indeed, 
they [i.e., the latter] had taken the devils 
as allies instead of God while they 
thought that they were guided. 

31. O children of Adam, take your adorn- 
ment [i.e., wear your clothing] at every 
masjid, 330 and eat and drink, but be not 
excessive. Indeed, He likes not those 
who commit excess. 

32. Say, "Who has forbidden the adorn- 
ment of [i.e., from] God which He has 
produced for His servants and the good 
[lawful] things of provision?" Say, 

329 The garments of Paradise. 

330 Literally, "place of prostration," meaning any 
place that a Muslim prays upon the earth. The 
term may also refer specifically to a mosque. 

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"They are for those who believe during 
the worldly life [but] exclusively for 
them on the Day of Resurrection." 
Thus do We detail the verses for a 
people who know. 

33. Say, "My Lord has only forbidden im- 
moralities - what is apparent of them 
and what is concealed - and sin, 331 and 
oppression without right, and that you 
associate with God that for which He 
has not sent down authority, and that 
you say about God that which you do 
not know." 

34. And for every nation is a [specified] 
term. So when their time has come, 
they will not remain behind an hour, 
nor will they precede [it] . 

35. O children of Adam, if there come to 
you messengers from among you relat- 
ing to you My verses [i.e., scriptures 
and laws], then whoever fears God and 
reforms - there will be no fear concern- 
ing them, nor will they grieve. 

36. But the ones who deny Our verses and 
are arrogant toward them - those are 
the companions of the Fire; they will 
abide therein eternally. 

37. And who is more unjust than one who 
invents about God a lie or denies His 
verses? Those will attain their portion 
of the decree 332 until, when Our mes- 
sengers [i.e., angels] come to them to 
take them in death, they will say, 
"Where are those you used to invoke 
besides God?" They will say, "They 
have departed from us," and will bear 
witness against themselves that they 
were disbelievers. 



331 Any unlawful deed. 

332 What is decreed for them. 



38. [God] will say, "Enter among nations 
which had passed on before you of jinn 
and mankind into the Fire." Every time 
a nation enters, it will curse its sister 333 
until, when they have all overtaken one 
another therein, the last of them 334 will 
say about the first of them, 335 "Our 
Lord, these had misled us, so give them 
a double punishment of the Fire." He 
will say, "For each is double, but you 
do not know." 

39. And the first of them will say to the last 
of them, "Then you had not any favor 
over us, so taste the punishment for 
what you used to earn." 

40. Indeed, those who deny Our verses and 
are arrogant toward them - the gates of 
Heaven will not be opened for them, 
nor will they enter Paradise until a ca- 
mel enters into the eye of a needle [i.e., 
never]. And thus do We recompense 
the criminals. 

41. They will have from Hell a bed and 
over them coverings [of fire] . And thus 
do We recompense the wrongdoers. 

42. But those who believed and did righ- 
teous deeds - We charge no soul except 
[within] its capacity. Those are the 
companions of Paradise; they will abide 
therein eternally. 

43. And We will have removed whatever is 
within their breasts of resentment, 336 
[while] flowing beneath them are rivers. 
And they will say, "Praise to God, who 
has guided us to this; and we would 
never have been guided if God had not 
guided us. Certainly the messengers of 

333 The nation proceeding it. 

334 The followers of evil leaders. 

335 Their leaders. 

336 i.e., ill will or sense of injury for what was in- 
flicted upon them during worldly life. 

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our Lord had come with the truth." 
And they will be called, "This is Para- 
dise, which you have been made to in- 
herit for what you used to do." 

44. And the companions of Paradise will 
call out to the companions of the Fire, 
"We have already found what our Lord 
promised us to be true. Have you 
found what your Lord promised to be 
true?" They will say, "Yes." Then an 
announcer will announce among them, 
"The curse of God shall be upon the 
wrongdoers 

45. Who averted [people] from the way of 
God and sought to make it [seem] de- 
viant while they were, concerning the 
Hereafter, disbelievers." 

46. And between them will be a partition 
[i.e., wall], and on [its] elevations are 
men 337 who recognize all 338 by their 
mark. And they call out to the compa- 
nions of Paradise, "Peace be upon 
you." They have not [yet] entered it, 
but they long intensely. 

47. And when their eyes are turned toward 
the companions of the Fire, they say, 
"Our Lord, do not place us with the 
wrongdoing people." 

48. And the companions of the Elevations 
will call to men [within Hell] whom 
they recognize by their mark, saying, 
"Of no avail to you was your gather- 
ing 339 and [the fact] that you were arro- 
gant." 



337 Those whose scales are balanced between 
good and evil deeds. 

338 Both the inhabitants of Paradise and those of 
Hell. 

339 i.e., great numbers or gathering of wealth. 



49. [God will say], "Are these 340 the ones 
whom you [inhabitants of Hell] swore 
that God would never offer them mer- 
cy? Enter Paradise, [O People of the 
Elevations]. No fear will there be con- 
cerning you, nor will you grieve." 

50. And the companions of the Fire will 
call to the companions of Paradise, 
"Pour upon us some water or from 
whatever God has provided you." They 
will say, "Indeed, God has forbidden 
them both to the disbelievers 

51. Who took their religion as distraction 
and amusement and whom the worldly 
life deluded." So today We will forget 
them just as they forgot the meeting of 
this Day of theirs and for having re- 
jected Our verses. 

52. And We had certainly brought them a 
Book which We detailed by knowledge 
- as guidance and mercy to a people 
who believe. 

53. Do they await except its result? 341 The 
Day its result comes those who had ig- 
nored it before will say, "The messen- 
gers of our Lord had come with the 
truth, so are there [now] any interces- 
sors to intercede for us or could we be 
sent back to do other than what we 
used to do?" They will have lost them- 
selves, and lost from them is what they 
used to invent. 

54. Indeed, your Lord is God, who created 
the heavens and earth in six days and 
then established Himself above the 
Throne. 342 He covers the night with the 

340 The humble believers who are now in Para- 
dise. Another interpretation regards them as the 
people on the elevated partition. 

341 The fulfilment of what is promised in the 
Qur'an. 

342 See footnote to 2:19. 

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day, [another night] chasing it rapidly; 61. 

and [He created] the sun, the moon, 
and the stars, subjected by His com- 
mand. Unquestionably, His is the crea- 
tion and the command; blessed is God, 62. 
Lord of the worlds. 

55. Call upon your Lord in humility and 
privately; indeed, He does not like 63. 
transgressors. 343 

56. And cause not corruption upon the 
earth after its reformation. And invoke 
Him in fear and aspiration. Indeed, the 
mercy of God is near to the doers of 64. 
good. 

57. And it is He who sends the winds as 
good tidings before His mercy [i.e., 
rainfall] until, when they have carried 

heavy rain clouds, We drive them to a 65. 

dead land and We send down rain 
therein and bring forth thereby [some] 
of all the fruits. Thus will We bring 
forth the dead; perhaps you may be 
reminded. 66. 

58. And the good land - its vegetation 
emerges by permission of its Lord; but 
that which is bad - nothing emerges ex- 
cept sparsely, with difficulty. Thus do 67. 
We diversify the signs for a people who 

are grateful. 

59. We had certainly sent Noah to his 68. 
people, and he said, "O my people, 
worship God; you have no deity other 

than Him. Indeed, I fear for you the 
punishment of a tremendous Day." 69. 

60. Said the eminent among his people, 
"Indeed, we see you in clear error." 



[Noah] said, "O my people, there is not 
error in me, but I am a messenger from 
the Lord of the worlds. 

I convey to you the messages of my 
Lord and advise you; and I know from 
God what you do not know. 

Then do you wonder that there has 
come to you a reminder from your 
Lord through a man from among you, 
that he may warn you and that you may 
fear God so you might receive mercy?" 

But they denied him, so We saved him 
and those who were with him in the 
ship. And We drowned those who de- 
nied Our signs. Indeed, they were a 
blind people. 344 

And to the Aad [We sent] their brother 
Hud. He said, "O my people, worship 
God; you have no deity other than 
Him. Then will you not fear Him?" 

Said the eminent ones who disbelieved 
among his people, "Indeed, we see you 
in foolishness, and indeed, we think 
you are of the liars." 

[Hud] said, "O my people, there is not 
foolishness in me, but I am a messen- 
ger from the Lord of the worlds. 

I convey to you the messages of my 
Lord, and I am to you a trustworthy 
adviser. 



Then 



do you 
come to you 



wonder that there has 
a reminder from your 
Lord through a man from among you, 
that he may warn you? And remember 
when He made you successors after the 
people of Noah and increased you in 



343 In supplication or otherwise. 



344 For a more detailed account, see 11:25-48. 

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stature extensively. So remember the 
favors of God that you might succeed." 

70. They said, "Have you come to us that 
we should worship God alone and 
leave what our fathers have wor- 
shipped? Then bring us what you 
promise us, 345 if you should be of the 
truthful." 

71. [Hud] said, "Already have defilement 
and anger fallen upon you from your 
Lord. Do you dispute with me concern- 
ing [mere] names you have named 
them, 346 you and your fathers, for 
which God has not sent down any au- 
thority? Then wait; indeed, I am with 
you among those who wait." 

72. So We saved him and those with him 
by mercy from Us. And We eliminated 
those who denied Our signs, and they 
were not [at all] believers. 

73. And to the Thamud [We sent] their 
brother Salih. He said, "O my people, 
worship God; you have no deity other 
than Him. There has come to you clear 
evidence from your Lord. This is the 
she-camel of God [sent] to you as a 
sign. So leave her to eat within God's 
land and do not touch her with harm, 
lest there sei2e you a painful punish- 
ment. 

74. And remember when He made you 
successors after the Aad and settled 
you in the land, [and] you take for 
yourselves palaces from its plains and 
carve from the mountains, homes. 
Then remember the favors of God and 
do not commit abuse on the earth, 
spreading corruption." 



343 i.e., God's punishment. 

346 The false objects of worship which you have 



75. 



76. 



77. 



78. 



79. 



80. 



81. 



82. 



83. 



Said the eminent ones who were arro- 
gant among his people to those who 
were oppressed - to those who believed 
among them, "Do you [actually] know 
that Salih is sent from his Lord?" They 
said, "Indeed we, in that with which he 
was sent, are believers." 

Said those who were arrogant, "Indeed 
we, in that which you have believed, are 
disbelievers." 

So they hamstrung the she-camel and 
were insolent toward the command of 
their Lord and said, "O Salih, bring us 
what you promise us, if you should be 
of the messengers." 

So the earthquake sei2ed them, and 
they became within their home 
[corpses] fallen prone. 

And he [i.e., Salih] turned away from 
them and said, "O my people, I had 
certainly conveyed to you the message 
of my Lord and advised you, but you 
do not like advisors." 

And [We had sent] Lot when he said to 
his people, "Do you commit such im- 
morality as no one has preceded you 
with from among the worlds? [i.e., 
peoples]? 

Indeed, you approach men with desire, 
instead of women. Rather, you are a 
transgressing people." 

But the answer of his people was only 
that they said, "Evict them from your 
city! Indeed, they are men who keep 
themselves pure." 

So We saved him and his family, except 
for his wife; she was of those who re- 
mained [with the evildoers] . 



called "gods." 



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84. And We rained upon them a rain [of 
stones]. Then see how was the end of 
the criminals. 

85. And to [the people of] Madyan [We 
sent] their brother Shu'ayb. He said, "O 
my people, worship God; you have no 
deity other than Him. There has come 
to you clear evidence from your Lord. 
So fulfill the measure and weight and 
do not deprive people of their due and 
cause not corruption upon the earth af- 
ter its reformation. That is better for 
you, if you should be believers. 

86. And do not sit on every path, threaten- 
ing and averting from the way of God 
those who believe in Him, seeking to 
make it [seem] deviant. And remember 
when you were few and He increased 
you. And see how was the end of the 
corrupters. 

87. And if there should be a group among 
you who has believed in that with 
which I have been sent and a group 
that has not believed, then be patient 
until God judges between us. And He 
is the best of judges." 

88. Said the eminent ones who were arro- 
gant among his people, "We will surely 
evict you, O Shu'ayb, and those who 
have believed with you from our city, 
or you must return to our religion." He 
said, "Even if we were unwilling? 

89. We would have invented against God a 
lie if we returned to your religion after 
God had saved us from it. And it is not 
for us to return to it except that God, 
our Lord, should will. Our Lord has 
encompassed all things in knowledge. 
Upon God we have relied. Our Lord, 
decide between us and our people in 
truth, and You are the best of those 
who give decision." 



90. Said the eminent ones who disbelieved 
among his people, "If you should fol- 
low Shu'ayb, indeed, you would then be 
losers." 

91. So the earthquake seized them, and 
they became within their home 
[corpses] fallen prone. 

92. Those who denied Shu'ayb - it was as 
though they had never resided there. 
Those who denied Shu'ayb - it was they 
who were the losers. 

93. And he [i.e., Shu'ayb] turned away from 
them and said, "O my people, I had 
certainly conveyed to you the messages 
of my Lord and advised you, so how 
could I grieve for a disbelieving 
people?" 

94. And We sent to no city a prophet [who 
was denied] except that We seized its 
people with poverty and hardship that 
they might humble themselves [to 
God]. 

95. Then We exchanged in place of the bad 
[condition], good, until they increased 
[and prospered] and said, "Our fathers 
[also] were touched with hardship and 
ease." 347 So We seized them suddenly 
while they did not perceive. 348 

96. And if only the people of the cities had 
believed and feared God, We would 
have opened [i.e., bestowed] upon them 
blessings from the heaven and the 
earth; but they denied [the messengers], 
so We seized them for what they were 
earning. 349 



347 Instead of being grateful to God for His bless- 
ings, they merely attributed them to the changing 
fortunes of time. 

348 That they had been tried and tested. 

349 Of blame for their sin. 

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97. Then did the people of the cities feel 
secure from Our punishment coming 
to them at night while they were asleep? 

98. Or did the people of the cities feel se- 
cure from Our punishment coming to 
them in the morning while they were at 
play? 350 

99. Then, did they feel secure from the 
plan of God? But no one feels secure 
from the plan of God except the losing 
people. 

100. Has it not become clear to those who 
inherited the earth after its [previous] 
people that if We willed, We could af- 
flict them for their sins? But We seal 
over their hearts so they do not hear. 351 

101. Those cities - We relate to you, [O Mu- 
hammad], some of their news. And cer- 
tainly did their messengers come to 
them with clear proofs, but they were 
not to believe in that which they had 
denied before. 352 Thus does God seal 
over the hearts of the disbelievers. 



104. And Moses said, "O Pharaoh, I am a 
messenger from the Lord of the worlds 

105. [Who is] obligated not to say about 
God except the truth. I have come to 
you with clear evidence from your 
Lord, so send with me the Children of 
Israel." 355 

1 06. [Pharaoh] said, "If you have come with 
a sign, then bring it forth, if you should 
be of the truthful." 

107. So he [i.e., Moses] threw his staff, and 
suddenly it was a serpent, manifest. 356 

108. And he drew out his hand; thereupon it 
was white [with radiance] for the ob- 
servers. 

109. Said the eminent among the people of 
Pharaoh, "Indeed, this is a learned ma- 
gician 

110. Who wants to expel you from your 
land [through magic], so what do you 
instruct?" 



102. And We did not find for most of them 
any covenant; 353 but indeed, We found 
most of them defiantly disobedient. 

103. Then We sent after them Moses with 
Our signs to Pharaoh and his estab- 
lishment, but they were unjust toward 
them. 354 So see how was the end of the 
corrupters. 



350 i.e., occupied with such activities that have no 
benefit. 

351 They do not benefit from what they hear. 

352 i.e., they persistently denied every warning 
given to them. 

353 i.e., they were found to be unfaithful and neg- 
ligent of God's covenant. 

354 i.e., they rejected and opposed the signs. 



111. They said, 357 "Postpone [the matter of] 
him and his brother and send among 
the cities gatherers 

112. Who will bring you every learned magi- 
cian." 

113. And the magicians came to Pharaoh. 
They said, "Indeed for us is a reward if 
we are the predominant." 

114. He said, "Yes, and, [moreover], you will 
be among those made near [to me]." 



355 i.e., free them from oppression and allow them 

to emigrate. 

3,6 i.e., genuine and not imagined, as a miracle 

from God. 

357 After mutual consultation and agreement. 

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115. They said, "O Moses, either you throw 
[your staff], or we will be the ones to 
throw [first]." 

116. He said, "Throw," and when they 
threw, they bewitched the eyes of the 
people and struck terror into them, and 
they presented a great [feat of] magic. 358 

117. And We inspired to Moses, "Throw 
your staff," and at once it devoured 
what they were falsifying. 

118 So the truth was established, and ab- 
olished was what they were doing. 

119. And they [i.e., Pharaoh and his people] 
were overcome right there and became 
debased. 

120. And the magicians fell down in prostra- 
tion [to God]. 

121. They said, "We have believed in the 
Lord of the worlds, 

122. The Lord of Moses and Aaron." 

123. Said Pharaoh, "You believed in him 359 
before I gave you permission. Indeed, 
this is a conspiracy which you con- 
spired in the city to expel therefrom its 
people. But you are going to know. 

124. I will surely cut off your hands and 
your feet on opposite sides; then I will 
surely crucify you all." 

125. They said, "Indeed, to our Lord we will 
return. 

126. And you do not resent us except be- 
cause we believed in the signs of our 



Lord when they came to us. Our Lord, 
pour upon us patience 360 and let us die 
as Muslims [in submission to You]." 

127. And the eminent among the people of 
Pharaoh said, "Will you leave Moses 
and his people to cause corruption in 
the land and abandon you and your 
gods?" [Pharaoh] said, "We will kill 
their sons and keep their women alive; 
and indeed, we are subjugators over 
them." 

128. Said Moses to his people, "Seek help 
through God and be patient. Indeed, 
the earth belongs to God. He causes to 
inherit it whom He wills of His ser- 
vants. And the [best] outcome is for the 
righteous." 

129. They said, "We have been harmed be- 
fore you came to us and after you have 
come to us." He said, "Perhaps your 
Lord will destroy your enemy and grant 
you succession in the land and see how 
you will do." 

130. And We certainly seized 361 the people 
of Pharaoh with years of famine and a 
deficiency in fruits that perhaps they 
would be reminded. 

131. But when good [i.e., provision] came to 
them, they said, "This is ours [by 
right]." And if a bad [condition] struck 
them, they saw an evil omen in Moses 
and those with him. Unquestionably, 
their fortune is with God, but most of 
them do not know. 

132. And they said, "No matter what sign 
you bring us with which to bewitch us, 
we will not be believers in you." 



358 Their staffs and ropes appeared as withering 
snakes. 

359 i.e., in Moses, avoiding the mention of God. 



360 To endure the torture to which we will be 
subjected. 

361 Imposed on them by way of trial and warning. 

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133. So We sent upon them the flood and 
locusts and lice and frogs and blood as 
distinct signs, but they were arrogant 
and were a criminal people. 

134. And when the punishment descended 
upon them, they said, "O Moses, in- 
voke for us your Lord by what He has 
promised you. If you [can] remove the 
punishment from us, we will surely be- 
lieve you, and we will send with you the 
Children of Israel." 

135. But when We removed the punishment 
from them until a term which they were 
to reach, 362 then at once they broke 
their word. 

136. So We took retribution from them, and 
We drowned them in the sea because 
they denied Our signs and were heed- 
less of them. 

137. And We caused the people who had 
been oppressed to inherit the eastern 
regions of the land and the western 
ones, which We had blessed. And the 
good word [i.e., decree] of your Lord 
was fulfilled for the Children of Israel 
because of what they had patiently en- 
dured. And We destroyed [all] that Pha- 
raoh and his people were producing 
and what they had been building. 

138. And We took the Children of Israel 
across the sea; then they came upon a 
people intent in devotion to [some] 
idols of theirs. They [the Children of 
Israel] said, "O Moses, make for us a 
god just as they have gods." He said, 
"Indeed, you are a people behaving ig- 
norantly. 



362 i.e., a specified term which would end with 
their reversion to disobedience and disbelief. 



139. Indeed, those [worshippers] - destroyed 
is that in which they are [engaged], and 
worthless is whatever they were doing." 

140. He said, "Is it other than God I should 
desire for you as a god 363 while He has 
preferred you over the worlds?" 

141. And [recall, O Children of Israel], when 
We saved you from the people of Pha- 
raoh, [who were] afflicting you with the 
worst torment - killing your sons and 
keeping your women alive. And in that 
was a great trial from your Lord. 

142. And We made an appointment with 
Moses for thirty nights and perfected 
them by [the addition of] ten; so the 
term of his Lord was completed as for- 
ty nights. And Moses said to his broth- 
er Aaron, "Take my place among my 
people, do right [by them], 364 and do 
not follow the way of the corrupters." 

143. And when Moses arrived at Our ap- 
pointed time and his Lord spoke to 
him, he said, "My Lord, show me 
[Yourself] that I may look at You." 
[God] said, "You will not see Me, 365 but 
look at the mountain; if it should re- 
main in place, then you will see Me." 
But when his Lord appeared to the 
mountain, He rendered it level, 366 and 
Moses fell unconscious. And when he 
awoke, he said, "Exalted are You! I 
have repented to You, and I am the 
first of the believers." 

144. [God] said, "O Moses, I have chosen 
you over the people with My messages 
and My words [to you]. So take what I 
have given you and be among the 
grateful." 

363 An object of worship. 

364 i.e., keep their affairs in order. 

365 During the life of this world. 

366 j t crumbled to dust. 



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145. And We wrote for him on the tablets 
[something] of all things - instruction 
and explanation for all things, [saying], 
"Take them with determination and 
order your people to take the best of it. 
I will show you the home of the de- 
fiantly disobedient." 367 

146. I will turn away from My signs those 
who are arrogant upon the earth with- 
out right; and if they should see every 
sign, they will not believe in it. And if 
they see the way of consciousness, 368 
they will not adopt it as a way; but if 
they see the way of error, they will 
adopt it as a way. That is because they 
have denied Our signs and they were 
heedless of them. 

147. Those who denied Our signs and the 
meeting of the Hereafter - their deeds 
have become worthless. Are they re- 
compensed except for what they used 
to do? 

148. And the people of Moses made, after 
[his departure], from their ornaments a 
calf - an image having a lowing sound. 
Did they not see that it could neither 
speak to them nor guide them to a way? 
They took it [for worship], and they 
were wrongdoers. 

149. And when regret overcame them 369 and 
they saw that they had gone astray, they 
said, "If our Lord does not have mercy 
upon us and forgive us, we will surely 
be among the losers." 

150. And when Moses returned to his 
people, angry and grieved, he said, 

367 This is a severe warning from God against 
rebellion. 

368 i.e., reason and integrity. 

369 Literally, "When their hands had been des- 
cended upon," i.e., bitten by them out of severe 
regret. 



"How wretched is that by which you 
have replaced me after [my departure]. 
Were you impatient over the matter of 
your Lord?" And he threw down the 
tablets and sei2ed his brother by [the 
hair of] his head, pulling him toward 
him. [Aaron] said, "O son of my moth- 
er, indeed the people oppressed me and 
were about to kill me, so let not the 
enemies rejoice over me 370 and do not 
place me among the wrongdoing 
people." 

151. [Moses] said, "My Lord, forgive me and 
my brother and admit us into Your 
mercy, for You are the most merciful 
of the merciful." 

152. Indeed, those who took the calf [for 
worship] will obtain anger from their 
Lord and humiliation in the life of this 
world, and thus do We recompense the 
inventors [of falsehood]. 

153. But those who committed misdeeds 
and then repented after them and be- 
lieved - indeed your Lord, thereafter, is 
Forgiving and Merciful. 

1 54. And when the anger subsided in Moses, 
he took up the tablets; and in their in- 
scription was guidance and mercy for 
those who are fearful of their Lord. 

155. And Moses chose from his people se- 
venty men for Our appointment. 371 
And when the earthquake seized 
them, 372 he said, "My Lord, if You had 
willed, You could have destroyed them 
before and me [as well]. Would You 

370 i.e., over your humiliation of me. 

371 Whereupon they were to apologize to God for 
having worshipped the calf. 

372 Upon reaching the appointed place, they said 
to Moses, "We will not believe until we see God 
outright." So the mountain convulsed, killing 
them. 

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destroy us for what the foolish among 
us have done? This is not but Your trial 
by which You send astray whom You 
will and guide whom You will. You are 
our Protector, so forgive us and have 
mercy upon us; and You are the best of 
forgivers. 

156. And decree for us in this world [that 
which is] good and [also] in the Hereaf- 
ter; indeed, we have turned back to 
You." [God] said, "My punishment - I 
afflict with it whom I will, but My mer- 
cy encompasses all things." So I will 
decree it [especially] for those who fear 
Me and give 2akah and those who be- 
lieve in Our verses - 

157. Those who follow the Messenger, the 
unlettered prophet, whom they find 
written [i.e., mentioned] in what they 
have of the Torah and the Gospel, who 
enjoins upon them what is right and 
forbids them what is wrong and makes 
lawful for them the good things and 
prohibits for them the evil and relieves 
them of their burden 373 and the 
shackles which were upon them. 374 So 
they who have believed in him, ho- 
noured him, supported him and fol- 
lowed the light which was sent down 
with him - it is those who will be the 
successful. 

158. Say, [O Muhammad], "O mankind, 
indeed I am the Messenger of God to 
you all, [from Him] to whom belongs 
the dominion of the heavens and the 
earth. There is no deity except Him; He 
gives life and causes death." So believe 
in God and His Messenger, the unlet- 
tered prophet, who believes in God and 



His words, and follow him that you 
may be guided. 

159. And among the people of Moses is a 
community 375 which guides by truth 
and by it establishes justice. 

160. And We divided them into twelve des- 
cendant tribes 376 [as distinct] nations. 
And We inspired to Moses when his 
people implored him for water, "Strike 
with your staff the stone," and there 
gushed forth from it twelve springs. 
Every people [i.e., tribe] knew its water- 
ing place. And We shaded them with 
clouds and sent down upon them man- 
na and quails, [saying], "Eat from the 
good things with which We have pro- 
vided you." And they wronged Us not, 
but they were [only] wronging them- 
selves. 

161. And [mention, O Muhammad], when it 
was said to them, "Dwell in this city 
[i.e., Jerusalem] and eat from it wherev- 
er you will and say, 'Relieve us of our 
burdens [i.e., sins],' and enter the gate 
bowing humbly; We will [then] forgive 
you your sins. We will increase the 
doers of good [in goodness and re- 
ward]." 

162. But those who wronged among them 
changed [the words] to a statement 
other than that which had been said to 
them. So We sent upon them a pu- 
nishment from the sky for the wrong 
that they were doing. 

1 63. And ask them about the town that was 
by the sea - when they transgressed in 
[the matter of] the sabbath - when their 
fish came to them openly on their sab- 



373 Difficulties in religious practice. 

374 i.e., extreme measure previously required for 
repentance, and retribution, without recourse to 
compensation. 



375 Those of them who accepted and followed the 
final prophet, Muhammad. 

376 p rom the twelve sons of Jacob. 

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bath day, and the day they had no sab- 
bath they did not come to them. Thus 
did We give them trial because they 
were defiantiy disobedient. 

164. And when a community among them 
said, "Why do you advise [or warn] a 
people whom God is [about] to destroy 
or to punish with a severe punish- 
ment?" they [the advisors] said, "To be 
absolved before your Lord and perhaps 
they may fear Him." 

165. And when they [i.e., those advised] for- 
got that by which they had been re- 
minded, We saved those who had for- 
bidden evil and sei2ed those who 
wronged, with a wretched punishment, 
because they were defiandy disobeying. 

166. So when they were insolent about that 
which they had been forbidden, We 
said to them, "Be apes, despised." 

167. And [mention] when your Lord de- 
clared that He would surely [continue 
to] send upon them until the Day of 
Resurrection those who would afflict 
them with the worst torment. Indeed, 
your Lord is swift in penalty; but in- 
deed, He is Forgiving and Merciful. 

168. And We divided them throughout the 
earth into nations. Of them some were 
righteous, and of them some were oth- 
erwise. And We tested them with good 
[times] and bad that perhaps they 
would return [to obedience]. 

169. And there followed them successors 
who inherited the Scripture [while] tak- 
ing the commodities 377 of this lower life 
and saying, "It will be forgiven for us." 
And if an offer like it 378 comes to them. 



they will [again] take it. Was not the co- 
venant of the Scripture [i.e., the Torah] 
taken from them that they would not 
say about God except the truth, and 
they studied what was in it? And the 
home of the Hereafter is better for 
those who fear God, so will you not 
use reason? 

170. But those who hold fast to the Book 
[i.e., the Qur'an] and establish prayer - 
indeed, We will not allow to be lost the 
reward of the reformers. 

171. And [mention] when We raised the 
mountain above them as if it was a dark 
cloud and they were certain that it 
would fall upon them, 379 [and God 
said], "Take what We have given you 
with determination and remember what 
is in it that you might fear God." 

172. And [mention] when your Lord took 
from the children of Adam - from their 
loins - their descendants and made 
them testify of themselves, [saying to 
them], "Am I not your Lord?" They 
said, "Yes, we have testified." [This] - 
lest you should say on the day of Re- 
surrection, "Indeed, we were of this 
unaware." 

173. Or Pest] you say, "It was only that our 
fathers associated [others in worship] 
with God before, and we were but des- 
cendants after them. Then would You 
destroy us for what the falsifiers have 
done?" 

174. And thus do We [explain in] detail the 
verses, and perhaps they will return. 380 



377 i.e., unlawful gains and pleasures. 

378 i.e., a similar temptation. 



379 For their rebellion and disobedience. 

380 ^ tne wa y f G oc J 5 from their diversions and 
deviations. 

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175. And recite to them, [O Muhammad], 
the news of him 381 to whom We gave 
[knowledge of] Our signs, but he de- 
tached himself from them; so Satan 
pursued him, and he became of the de- 
viators. 382 

176. And if We had willed, We could have 
elevated him thereby, 383 but he adhered 
[instead] to the earth 384 and followed 
his own desire. So his example is like 
that of the dog: if you chase him, he 
pants, or if you leave him, he [still] 
pants. That is the example of the 
people who denied Our signs. 385 So re- 
late the stories that perhaps they will 
give thought. 

177. How evil an example [is that of] the 
people who denied Our signs and used 
to wrong themselves. 

178. Whoever God guides - he is the 
[rightly] guided; and whoever He sends 
astray 386 - it is those who are the losers. 

179. And We have certainly created for Hell 
many of the jinn and mankind. They 
have hearts with which they do not un- 
derstand, they have eyes with which 
they do not see, and they have ears with 
which they do not hear. Those are like 



381 A man from the Children of Israel at the time 
of Moses. 

382 Those who deliberately persist in error to the 
point of destruction. 

383 i.e., through the revelations, signs or evidences 
of which he had been given knowledge. 

384 i.e., its worldly pleasures. 

385 Whether or not they have been exposed to 
God's signs or warnings, it is all the same: they 
will not believe. 

386 As a result of persistence in evil and rejection 
of truth. 



livestock; rather, they are more as- 
tray. 387 It is they who are the heedless. 

1 80. And to God belong the best names, so 
invoke Him by them. And leave [the 
company of] those who practice devia- 
tion concerning His names. 388 They will 
be recompensed for what they have 
been doing. 

181. And among those We created is a 
community 389 which guides by truth 
and thereby establishes justice. 

182. But those who deny Our signs - We 
will progressively lead them [to destruc- 
tion] 390 from where they do not know. 

183. And I will give them time. Indeed, my 
plan is firm. 

1 84. Then do they not give thought? There 
is in their companion [i.e., Muhammad] 
no madness. He is not but a clear 
warner. 

185. Do they not look into the realm of the 
heavens and the earth and everything 
that God has created and [think] that 
perhaps their appointed time has come 
near? So in what statement [i.e., mes- 
sage] hereafter will they believe? 

1 86. Whoever God sends astray - there is no 
guide for him. And He leaves them in 
their transgression, wandering blindly. 

187. They ask you, [O Muhammad], about 
the Hour: when is its arrival? 391 Say, 

387 The reference is to their inability (i.e., refusal) 
to think and reason, while blindly following (as 
they are accustomed). 

388 i.e., use them improperly or deny them. 

389 Thg followers of Prophet Muhammad. 

390 God will test them with one favour after 
another in spite of their disobedience, which only 
increases them in arrogance and sin. 



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"Its knowledge is only with my Lord. 
None will reveal its time except Him. It 
lays heavily 392 upon the heavens and the 
earth. It will not come upon you except 
unexpectedly." They ask you as if you 
are familiar with it. Say, "Its knowledge 
is only with God, but most of the 
people do not know." 

188. Say, "I hold not for myself [the power 
of] benefit or harm, except what God 
has willed. And if I knew the unseen, I 
could have acquired much wealth, and 
no harm would have touched me. I am 
not except a warner and a bringer of 
good tidings to a people who believe." 

189. It is He who created you from one soul 
and created from it its mate that he 393 
might dwell in security with her. And 
when he [i.e., man] covers her, 394 she 
carries a light burden [i.e., a pregnancy] 
and continues therein. And when it be- 
comes heavy, they both invoke God, 
their Lord, "If You should give us a 
good 395 [child], we will surely be among 
the grateful." 

190. But when He gives them a good [child], 
they 396 ascribe partners to Him con- 
cerning that which He has given them. 
Exalted is God above what they asso- 
ciate with Him. 

191. Do they associate with Him those who 
create nothing and they are [them- 
selves! created? 



391 Literally, "resting" or "establishment." 

392 i.e., it is a source of concern, worry or fear. 

393 i.e., man or every descendent of Adam. 

394 An allusion to sexual intercourse. 

395 Physically sound or righteous. 

396 The ungrateful man and woman or the po- 
lytheistic man and woman. 



192. And they [i.e., the false deities] are una- 
ble to [give] them help, nor can they 
help themselves. 

193. And if you [believers] invite them to 
guidance, they will not follow you. It is 
all the same for you whether you invite 
them or you are silent. 

194. Indeed, those you [polytheists] call 
upon besides God are servants [i.e., 
creations] like you. So call upon them 
and let them respond to you, if you 
should be truthful. 

195. Do they have feet by which they walk? 
Or do they have hands by which they 
strike? Or do they have eyes by which 
they see? Or do they have ears by 
which they hear? Say, [O Muhammad], 
"Call your 'partners' and then conspire 
against me and give me no respite. 

196. Indeed, my protector is God, who has 
sent down the Book; and He is an ally 
to the righteous. 

197. And those you call upon besides Him 
are unable to help you, nor can they 
help themselves." 

198. And if you invite them to guidance, 
they do not hear; and you see them 
looking at you while they do not see. 

199. Take what is given freely, 397 enjoin 
what is good, and turn away from the 
ignorant. 

200. And if an evil suggestion comes to you 
from Satan, then seek refuge in God. 
Indeed, He is Hearing and Knowing. 



397 From the disposition of men or from their 
wealth. In other words, be easy in dealing with 
them and avoid causing them difficulty. 

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201. Indeed, those who fear God - when an 
impulse touches them from Satan, they 
remember [Him] and at once they have 
insight. 

202. But their brothers 398 - they [i.e., the 
devils] increase them in error; then they 
do not stop short. 

203. And when you, [O Muhammad], do 
not bring them a sign [i.e., miracle], 
they say, "Why have you not contrived 
it?" Say, "I only follow what is revealed 
to me from my Lord. This [Qur'an] is 
enlightenment from your Lord and 
guidance and mercy for a people who 
believe." 

204. So when the Qur'an is recited, then 
listen to it and pay attention that you 
may receive mercy. 

205. And remember your Lord within your- 
self in humility and in fear without be- 
ing apparent in speech - in the morn- 
ings and the evenings. And do not be 
among the heedless. 

206. Indeed, those who are near your Lord 
[i.e., the angels] are not prevented by 
arrogance from His worship, and they 
exalt Him, and to Him they prostrate. 



398 Those among mankind who listen to the devils 
and obey their orders. 



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Surah 8: al-Anfal www.quranproject.org 8: The Spoils of War 

Surah 8: al-Anfal 

The Period of Revelation 

It was revealed in 2 A.H. after the Battle of Badr, the first battle between Islam and Kufr (disbelief). As it 
contains a detailed and comprehensive review of the Battle it appears that most probably it was revealed all at 
once at the same time. But it is also possible that some of the verses concerning the problems arising as a 
result of this Battle might have been revealed later and incorporated at the proper places to make it a conti- 
nuous whole. 

Historical Background 

Before reviewing the Surah it is worthwhile to consider the events that led to the Battle of Badr. During the 
first decade or so of the Prophethood at Makkah the Message had proved its firmness and stability. This was 
the result of two things. First the Messenger who possessed the highest qualities of character was performing 
his Mission with wisdom foresight and magnanimity. He had shown by his conduct that he had made up his 
mind to carry the movement to a successful end and therefore was ready to face all sorts of dangers and ob- 
stacles in the way. Secondly the Message was so charming that it attracted the minds and hearts of the people 
irresistibly towards itself. So much so that all obstacles of ignorance superstition and petty prejudices failed 
to check its advance. That is why the Arab upholders of the ways of 'ignorance' who looked down upon it in 
its initial stages had begun to reckon it as a serious menace during the last period of the stay of the Prophet 
at Makkah and were bent on crushing it with all the force at their command. But in spite of the above- 
mentioned strength the movement still lacked certain things to lead it to victory. 

First, it had not yet been fully proved that it had gathered round it a sufficient number of such followers who 
not only believed in its truth but also had such an intense devotion to its principles that they were ready to 
expend all their energies and all that they possessed in the struggle for its success and establishment. So 
much so that they were ready to sacrifice their lives in the fight against the whole world itself even though 
they should be their own nearest relative. It is true that the followers of Islam had endured the severest per- 
secutions at the hands of the Quraysh of Makkah and had given a good proof of the firmness of their faith 
and their strong relation with Islam yet further trials were required to show that Islam had succeeded in ac- 
quiring such a band of followers which considered nothing dearer than its ideal and was ready to sacrifice life 
for it. 

Secondly though the voice of Islam had reached every part of the country its effects were yet scattered and 
its acquired strength was spread here and there: it had not yet gathered sufficient force essential for a decisive 
conflict with the old established order of 'ignorance'. 

Thirdly Islam had yet no home of its own and had not established itself firmly anywhere in the land where it 
could consolidate its power and make it a base for further action. For the Muslims were scattered all over the 
country and were living among the unbelievers as aliens whom their bloodthirsty enemies wanted to uproot 
from their own homes. 

Fourthly, the Muslims had not yet had an opportunity to demonstrate practically the blessings of the system 
of life based on Islam. There was neither any Islamic culture, nor any social, economic or political system; 
nor were there any established principles of war and peace for their guidance. Therefore the Muslims had no 
opportunity for demonstrating those moral principles on which they intended to build their entire system of 
life; nor had it been proved on the touchstone of trial that the Muslims as a community were sincere in the 
proclamation of the Message. God created opportunities for making up these deficiencies. During the last 
four years of the Prophet's stay at Makkah, the voice of Islam had been proving effective at Yathrib (Madi- 
nah) and the people for various reasons had been accepting the message more readily than other clans of 

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Arabia. So much so that in the twelfth year of Prophethood on the occasion of Hajj a deputation of 75 
people met the Prophet in the darkness of night. These people not only accepted Islam, but also offered to 
give him and his followers a home. As this was a most epoch making opportunity provided by God, the 
Prophet took advantage of it. The significance of this offer was quite clear to the people of Yathrib, and they 
fully realized that this was not an invitation to a mere fugitive, but to the Messenger of God so that he 
should become their leader and ruler. Likewise they knew that they were not inviting the Muslim refugees to 
give them shelter from persecution but to assemble them from all over the country for their integration with 
themselves to form an organized community. Thus the offer of the people of Yathrib was to make Yathrib 
the "City of Islam." Accordingly the Prophet accepted their invitation and made it the first "City of Islam" in 
Arabia. And the people of Yathrib were fully aware of the implications of this offer. It was indeed a declara- 
tion of war against the whole of Arabia, and an invitation to their own social and economic boycott as well. 
And when the Ansar from Yathrib declared their allegiance to the Prophet at Aqabah, they knew fully well its 
consequences. During the course of the formal declaration of allegiance, Asad bin Zurarah, the youngest of 
all the delegates from Yathrib, stood up and said, "O people of Yathrib! Just listen to me and consider the matter care- 
fully in all its aspects. Though we have come to him, regarding him only as a Messenger of God, we should know that we shall be 
inviting the enmity of the whole of Arabia. For when we take him away to Yathrib, we shall be attacked and our children may 
be put to the sword. Therefore if you have the courage in your hearts to face it, then and then only, you should declare your alle- 
giance to him and God will give you its reward. But if you love your lives more than him and his Message, then leave this matter 
and frankly excuse yourselves, for at this time God may accept your excuses." 

Abbas bin Ubadah bin Naalah, another member of the delegation, reiterated the same thing, saying, Do you 
understand the implication of the declaration of your allegiance to this person?^ (Voices, "Yes, we know it.") "You are chal- 
lenging the whole world to war by your declaration of allegiance to him. There is every likelihood of a serious menace to your lives 
and properties. Therefore consider it well. If you have any idea lurking in your minds that you will then hand him over to his 
enemies, it is much better to leave him alone now, because that conduct shall bring shame and disgrace to you in this world and 
the next. On the other hand, if you have sincerely resolved that you will endure all kinds of consequences that will follow as a 
result of this invitation, then it would be the best thing to take the oath of allegiance to him because, by God, this will surely 
bring good to you in this world as well as in the next world" At this all the members of the delegation cried with one 
voice, "We are ready and prepared to risk all our wealth and our noble kith and kin for his sake. " It was then that the 
famous oath of allegiance, which is known as the "Second Oath of Allegiance at Aqabah" was taken. 

On the other side, the people of Makkah also understood fully well the implications of this matter from their 
own point of view. They realized that Muhammad, who they knew well, had a great personality and pos- 
sessed extraordinary abilities, was going to gain a strong footing, by this allegiance. For this would help inte- 
grate his followers, whose constancy, determination, and unwavering faithfulness to the Messenger had been 
tried, into a disciplined community under his wise leadership and guidance. And they knew that this would 
spell death for their old ways of life. They also realized the strategic importance of Madinah to their trade, 
which was their chief means of livelihood. Its geographical position was such that the Muslims could strike 
with advantage at the caravans traveling on the trade route between Yemen and Syria, and thus strike at the 
root of their economy and that of other pagan clans very effectively. The value of the trade done by the 
people of Makkah alone on this route, not to count that of ta'if and other places, amounted to about two 
hundred thousand dinars annually. As the Quraysh were fully aware of the implications of the oath of alle- 
giance at Aqabah, they were greatly agitated when they got wind of it the same night. At first they tried to 
win over the people of Madinah to their side. But when they saw that the Muslims were migrating to Madi- 
nah in small groups, they realized that the Prophet was also going to emigrate soon from there. Then they 
decided to adopt an extreme measure to prevent this danger. A few days before his migration, the Quraysh 
held a council to consider the matter. After a good deal of argument; they decided that one person should be 
taken from each of the families of Quraysh other than that of Banu Hashim to put an end to the life of the 
Prophet. This was to make it difficult for the family of the Prophet to fight alone with all the other families 
of the Quraysh and thus to force them to accept blood-money for his murder instead of taking revenge from 
them, but by the grace of God their plot against the life of the Prophet failed because of his admirable fore- 
sight and full trust in God, and he reached Madinah safe and sound. When they could not prevent his emi- 

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gration, it occurred to them to exploit Abdullah bin Ubay who had begun to cherish a grievance against the 
Prophet since his arrival at Madinah. He was an influential chief of Madinah and the people had agreed to 
make him their king. But when the majority of Aws and Khazraj clan became Muslims and acknowledged the 
Prophet as their leader, guide and ruler, all his hopes of becoming a king came to an end. Therefore the Qu- 
raysh wrote to him, "As you have given shelter to our enemy, we tell you plainly that you should either fight with him yourself 
or exile him from your city otherwise we swear by God that we will invade your city, kill your males and make your females our 
slave girls" This letter added fuel to the flames of his jealousy and he was inclined to do some mischief, but 
the Prophet took timely precautions and defeated his evil designs. The Quraysh got another opportunity to 
hold out a threat. When Sa'ad bin Mu'adh, another chief of Madinah, went to Makkah to perform Umrah, 
Abu Jahl interrupted him at the very door of the Ka'bah, saying, "Do you think we will let you perform Umrah in 
peace when you give shelter and help to renegades from us? Had you not been a guest of Ummayyah bin Khalfyou would not 
have gone alive from here. " Sa'ad replied, "By God, if you prevent me from this, I will retaliate in a worse manner and block 
your route near Madinah. " This incident virtually led to a declaration from the people of Makkah that they 
would prevent the Muslims from a pilgrimage to the Ka'bah, and from the people of Madinah that as a retal- 
iation they would block their trade route to Syria against the opponents of Islam. As a matter of fact there 
was no other alternative for the Muslims than to keep a strong hold on this route so as to force the Quraysh, 
and the other clans, whose interests were vitally bound with this route, to reconsider their hostile and anta- 
gonistic attitude towards them. That is why the Prophet attached the greatest importance to this problem. As 
soon as he was free from making the preliminary arrangements for organizing the newly formed Muslim 
Community and settling peace terms with the neighboring Jewish tribes, he adopted two measures in this 
connection. 

First, he entered into negotiations with those clans who lived between the Red Sea and this route so as to 
make alliances with them or at east to persuade them to make treaties of neutrality with the Muslims. He was 
successful in this, and he entered into a treaty of non-alignment with Juhainah, which was a very important 
clan of the hilly tract near the sea coast. Then, at the end of the first year of Hijrah, he made a treaty of de- 
fensive alliance with Bani Damrah. In 2 A.H. Bani Mudlij also joined the alliance, as they were the neigh- 
bours and allies of Bani Damrah. Then it so happened that quite a large number of these people were re- 
verted to Islam as a result of the missionary work done by the Muslims. 

Secondly, he successively sent small bands of his men on this route to serve as a warning to the Quraysh, and 
himself accompanied some of them. In the first year of Hijrah, four expeditions were sent there, that is, the 
expedition under Hamza, the expedition under Ubaidah bin Harith, the expedition under Sa'ad bin Abi 
Waqqas and the Al-Abwa expedition under the Prophet himself. In the first month of the second year two 
more incursions were made on the same route. These are known as Buwat Expedition and Zawal Ushairah 
Expedition. Two things about all these expeditions are noteworthy. First, no blood was shed and no caravans 
were plundered in any of these expeditions. This proves that the real object of these expeditions was to show 
to the Quraysh which way the wind was blowing. Secondly, not a single man from the people of Madinah 
was sent by the Prophet on any of these incursions. All the bands consisted purely of the immigrants from 
Makkah so that the conflict should remain between the people of the Quraysh themselves and should not 
further spread by the involvement of other clans. On the other side, the Quraysh of Makkah tried to involve 
others also in the conflict. When they sent bands towards Madinah, they did not hesitate to plunder the 
people. For instance, an expedition under the leadership of Kurz bin Jabir al-Fihrl plundered the cattle of the 
people of Madinah from the very vicinity of the city to show what their real intentions were. 

This was the state of affairs when, in Sha'aban, 2 A.H. (February or March, 623 A.D.) a big trade caravan of 
the Quraysh, carrying goods worth about £50,000, with only a guard of thirty to forty men, on its way back 
from Syria to Makkah, reached the territory from where it could be easily attacked from Madinah. As the 
caravan was earning trade goods worth thousands of pounds, and was scantily guarded, naturally Abu Su- 
fyan, who was in charge of it, from his past experience feared an attack from the Muslims. Accordingly, as 
soon as he entered the dangerous territory, he despatched a camel rider to Makkah with a frantic appeal for 
help. When the rider reached Makkah, he, following an old custom of Arabia, tore open the ears of his ca- 

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mel, cut open his nose and overturned the saddle. He began to cry aloud at the top of his voice, "O people of 
Quraysh despatch help to protect your caravan from Syria under the charge of Abu Sufyan, for Muhammad with his followers is 
in pursuit of it; otherwise I don't thinkyou will ever get your goods. Run, run for help. " This caused great excitement and 
anger in the whole of Makkah and all the big chiefs of the Quraysh got ready for war. An army, consisting of 
600 armoured soldiers and cavalry of 100 riders with great pomp and show marched out for a fight. They 
intended not only to rescue the caravan but also to put to an end, once for all, the new menace from the 
Muslims who had consolidated themselves at Madinah. They wanted to crush that rising power and overawe 
the clans surrounding the route so as to make it absolutely secure for future trade. Now the Prophet, who 
always kept himself well informed of the state of affairs, felt that the decisive hour has come and that was the 
right time when he must take a bold step; otherwise the Islamic Movement would become lifeless for ever 
and no chance would be left for it to rise again. For if the Quraysh invaded Madinah, the odds would be 
against the Muslims. The condition of the Muslim Community was still very shaky because the Muhajirin 
(immigrants) had not been able to stabilize their economy during the short period (less than two years) of 
their stay at Madinah; their helpers, the Ansar had not yet been tried; and the neighbouring Jewish clans were 
antagonistic. Then there was a strong group of hypocrites and polytheists in Madinah itself; above all, the 
surrounding clans lived in awe of the Quraysh and had all their religious sympathies with them. The Prophet, 
therefore, felt that the consequences of this possible invasion would not be favorable to the Muslims. The 
second possibility was that they would not invade Madinah but try only to escort their caravan safely and 
securely by a mere show of force. In that case, too, if the Muslims remained inactive, it would affect their 
reputation adversely. Obviously, this weak stand in the conflict would embolden the other Arabs also and 
make the position of the Muslims very insecure in the country and the surrounding clans would, at the in- 
stance of the Quraysh, start hostilities against them. And the Jews, the hypocrites and the polytheists of Ma- 
dinah would openly rise against them and not only endanger their security of life, property and honour but 
make it difficult for them even to live there. The Muslims would not be able to inspire the enemy with awe 
so as to keep safe from them their life, property and honour. A careful study of the situation led the Prophet 
to make up his mind to take a decisive step and go into the battle with whatever little strength he could mus- 
ter, for thus and thus only could he show whether the Muslim Community had the right to survive or was 
doomed to perish. 

When he arrived at this momentous decision, he called the Muhajirin and the Ansar together and placed the 
whole position before them, without any reservation. He said, "God has promised that you will confront one of the 
two, the trade caravan coming from the north or the army of the Quraysh marchingfrom the south. Now tell me which of the two 
you want to attack!" A large majority of the people replied that they wanted to attack the caravan. But the 
Prophet who had something else before him, repeated the same question. At this Miqdad bin Amr, a Muha- 
jir, stood up and said, "O Messenger of God! Please march to the side to which your 'Lord commands you; we will accompany 
you wherever you go. We will not say like the Israelites, 'Go and let you and your Tord fight we will wait'. In contrast to them 
we say, "Let you and your Lord fight; we will fight by your side to our last breath '. " Even then he did not announce any 
decision but waited for a reply from the Ansar who had not yet taken any part in any battle of Islam. As this 
was the first opportunity for them to prove that they were ready to fulfill their promise of fighting for the 
cause of Islam, he repeated the question without directly addressing them. At this, Sa'ad bin Mu'adh, an 
Ansar, stood up and said, ". . . it appears that you are putting the question to us. " When the Prophet said, "Yes, " the 
Ansar replied, "We have believed in you and confirmed that what you have brought is the Truth, and have made a solemn 
pledge with you that we will listen to you and obey you. Therefore, O Messenger of God, do whatever you intend to do. We swear 
by God Who has sent you with the Truth that we are ready to accompany you to the sea shore and if you enter it, we will plunge 
into it. We assure you that not a single one of us will remain behind or forsake you, for we will not hesitate at all to go to fight, 
even if you should lead us to the battlefield tomorrow. We will remain steadfast in the battle and sacrifice our lives in the fight. 
We do hope that by the grace of God our behavior will gladden your heart. So, trusting in God's blessing, take us to the battle- 
field. " After these speeches it was decided that they should march towards the army of the Quraysh and not 
towards the trade caravan. But it should be noted that the decision was of an ordinary nature. For the num- 
ber of people, who came forward to go to the battlefield, was only a little more than three hundred (86 Mu- 
hajirs, 62 from Aws and 170 from Khazraj). Then the little army was ill-armed and hardly equipped for bat- 
tle. Only a couple of them had horses to ride and the others had to take their turn in threes and fours on the 

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back of a camel, out of the 70 they had in all. Above all, they had not got enough weapons for the battle; 
only 60 of them had armor. It is, therefore, no wonder that with the exception of those who were prepared 
to sacrifice their lives for the cause of Islam, the majority of those who had joined the expedition, were so 
filled with fear that they felt as if they were knowingly going into the jaws of death. Then there were people 
who always looked at things from a selfish point of view. Though they had embraced Islam, they did not 
realize that their faith would demand the sacrifice of their lives and properties from them; they were of the 
opinion that it was a mad expedition prompted by irrational enthusiasm for religion. But the Prophet and the 
true Believers had realized the urgency of that critical hour which required the risk of life: therefore they 
marched straight to the south-west, wherefrom the army of the Quraysh was coming. This is a clear proof of 
the fact that from the very beginning they had gone out to fight with the army and not to plunder the cara- 
van. For if they had aimed at plundering the caravan they would have taken the north-westerly direction and 
not the south-westerly one. 

The two parties met in combat at Badr on the 17th of Ramadan. When the two armies confronted each oth- 
er and the Prophet noticed that the Quraysh army outnumbered the Muslims by three to one and was much 
better equipped, he raised his hands up in supplication and made this earnest prayer with great humility: "0 
God! Here are the Quraysh proud of their war material: they have come to prove that Thy Messenger is false. God! now send 
that succor that Thou hast promised to give me. God! If this little army of Thy servants is destroyed, then there will be left 
none in the land to worship Thee. " In this combat the emigrants from Makkah were put to the hardest test for 
they had to fight against their own near and dear relatives and put to the sword their fathers, their sons, their 
paternal and maternal uncles and their brothers. It is obvious that only such people could have come out 
successful in this hardest of tests as had accepted the Truth sincerely and cut off all relations with falsehood. 
And in another way the test to which the Ansar were put was not less hard. So far they had only alienated the 
powerful Quraysh and their allies by giving shelter to the Muslims against their wishes but now, for the first 
time, they were going to give fight to them and to sow the seeds of a long and bitter war with them. This was 
indeed a very hard test for it meant that a small town with a population of a few thousand inhabitants was 
going to wage a war with the whole of Arabia. It is obvious that only such people could take this bold step 
who believed in the Truth of Islam so firmly that they were ready to sacrifice every personal interest for its 
sake. So God accepted the self-sacrifices of the Muhajirin and the Ansar because of their true faith, and re- 
warded them with His succor. The proud, well-armed Quraysh were routed by these ill-equipped devotees of 
Islam. Seventy men of their army were killed and seventy captured as prisoners and their arms and equip- 
ment came into the hands of the Muslims as spoils of war. All their big chiefs, who were their best soldiers 
and who had led the opposition to Islam, were killed in this Battle. No wonder that this decisive victory 
made Islam a power to be reckoned with. 

Topics of Discussion 

The moral lesson of the conflict between the Truth and falsehood has been enunciated and the qualities 
which lead to success in a conflict have been explained. The Surah gives instructions in regard to the spoils 
of war. The Muslims have been told not to regard these as their right but as a bounty from God. Therefore 
they should accept with gratitude the share that is granted to them out of it and willingly accede to the share 
which God sets apart for His cause and for the help of the needy. Then it also gives normal instructions con- 
cerning the laws of peace and war for these were urgently needed to be explained at the stage which the 
Islamic Movement had entered. It enjoined that the Muslims should refrain from ways of "ignorance" in 
peace and war and thus should establish their moral superiority in the world. It also meant to demonstrate to 
the world in actual practical life the morality which it had been preaching to the world from the very begin- 
ning of Islam and had been enjoining that practical life should be based on the same. It also states some ar- 
ticles of the Islamic Constitution which help differentiate the status of the Muslims living within the limits of 
Dar-ul-Islam (the Abode of Islam) from that of the Muslims living beyond its limits. 



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Surah 8: al-Anfal 399 

In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, 
the Most Merciful 

1. They ask you, [O Muhammad], about 
the bounties [of war] . Say, "The [deci- 
sion concerning] bounties is for God 
and the Messenger." So fear God and 
amend that which is between you and 
obey God and His Messenger, if you 
should be believers. 

2. The believers are only those who, when 
God is mentioned, their hearts become 
fearful, and when His verses are recited 
to them, it increases them in faith; and 
upon their Lord they rely - 

3. The ones who establish prayer, and 
from what We have provided them, 
they spend. 

4. Those are the believers, truly. For them 
are degrees [of high position] with their 
Lord and forgiveness and noble provi- 
sion. 

5. [It 400 is] just as when your Lord brought 
you out of your home [for the battle of 
Badr] in truth, while indeed, a party 
among the believers were unwilling, 

6. Arguing with you concerning the truth 
after it had become clear, as if they 
were being driven toward death while 
they were looking on. 

7. [Remember, O believers], when God 
promised you one of the two groups 401 

399 Al-Anfal: The Bounties, meaning those things 
acquired in addition to victory, i.e., the spoils of 
war. 

400 Referring to a dispute which occurred among 
the Muslims over distribution of war booty. 

401 i.e., either the caravan of Quraysh or their 
army. 



- that it would be yours - and you 
wished that the unarmed one would be 
yours. But God intended to establish 
the truth by His words and to eliminate 
the disbelievers 

8. That He should establish the truth and 
abolish falsehood, even if the criminals 
disliked it. 

9. [Remember] when you asked help of 
your Lord, and He answered you, "In- 
deed, I will reinforce you with a thou- 
sand from the angels, following one 
another." 

10. And God made it not but good tidings 
and so that your hearts would be as- 
sured thereby. And victory is not but 
from God. Indeed, God is Exalted in 
Might and Wise. 

11. [Remember] when He overwhelmed 
you with drowsiness [giving] security 
from Him and sent down upon you 
from the sky, rain by which to purify 
you and remove from you the evil [sug- 
gestions] of Satan and to make steadfast 
your hearts and plant firmly thereby 
your feet. 

12. [Remember] when your Lord inspired 
to the angels, "I am with you, so streng- 
then those who have believed. I will 
cast terror into the hearts of those who 
disbelieved, so strike [them] upon the 
necks and strike from them every fin- 
gertip." 402 

13. That is because they opposed God and 
His Messenger. And whoever opposes 
God and His Messenger - indeed, God 
is severe in penalty. 



402 By which they grasp and manipulate their 
weapons. Also interpreted as "all extremities," 



i.e., their hands and feet. 

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14. "That [is yours], so taste it." And in- 
deed for the disbelievers is the punish- 
ment of the Fire. 

15. O you who have believed, when you 
meet those who disbelieve advancing 
[for battle], do not turn to them your 
backs [in flight], 

1 6. And whoever turns his back to them on 
such a day, unless swerving [as a strate- 
gy] for war or joining [another] compa- 
ny, has certainly returned with anger 
[upon him] from God, and his refuge is 
Hell - and wretched is the destination. 

17. And you did not kill them, but it was 
God who killed them. 403 And you threw 
not, [O Muhammad], when you threw, 
but it was God who threw 404 that He 
might test the believers with a good 
test. 405 Indeed, God is Hearing and 
Knowing. 

18. That [is so], and [also] that God will 
weaken the plot of the disbelievers. 

19. If you [disbelievers] seek the decision 
[i.e., victory] - the decision [i.e., defeat] 
has come to you. And if you desist 
[from hostilities], it is best for you; but 
if you return [to war], We will return, 
and never will you be availed by your 
[large] company at all, even if it should 
increase; and [that is] because God is 
with the believers. 



403 i.e., Your strength was insufficient to over- 
come them, but God supported you and gave you 
victory. 

404 When the Prophet threw a handful of dust 
into the faces of the disbelievers, God caused it 
to fill the eyes and nose of every soldier, prevent- 
ing their advance. 

405 So that they would appreciate God's favour to 
them. 



20. O you who have believed, obey God 
and His Messenger and do not turn 
from him while you hear [his order], 

21. And do not be like those who say, "We 
have heard," while they do not hear. 

22. Indeed, the worst of living creatures in 
the sight of God are the deaf and dumb 
who do not use reason [i.e., the disbe- 
lievers] . 

23. Had God known any good in them, He 
would have made them hear. And if He 
had made them hear, they would [still] 
have turned away, while they were re- 
fusing. 

24. O you who have believed, respond to 
God and to the Messenger when he 
calls you to that which gives you life. 
And know that God intervenes be- 
tween a man and his heart and that to 
Him you will be gathered. 

25. And fear a trial 406 which will not strike 
those who have wronged among you 
exclusively, and know that God is se- 
vere in penalty. 

26. And remember when you were few and 
oppressed in the land, fearing that 
people might abduct you, but He shel- 
tered you, supported you with His vic- 
tory, and provided you with good 
things - that you might be grateful. 

27. O you who have believed, do not be- 
tray God and the Messenger or betray 
your trusts while you know [the conse- 
quence] . 



406 i.e., an affliction or punishment during life 
upon this earth. When corruption spreads among 
a people, its consequences will affect everyone. 

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28. And know that your properties and 
your children are but a trial and that 
God has with Him a great reward. 

29. O you who have believed, if you fear 
God, He will grant you a criterion 407 
and will remove from you your mis- 
deeds and forgive you. And God is the 
possessor of great bounty. 

30. And [remember, O Muhammad], when 
those who disbelieved plotted against 
you to restrain you or kill you or evict 
you [from Makkah], But they plan, and 
God plans. And God is the best of 
planners. 

31. And when Our verses are recited to 
them, they say, "We have heard. If we 
willed, we could say [something] like 
this. This is not but legends of the for- 
mer peoples." 

32. And [remember] when they said, "O 
God, if this should be the truth from 
You, then rain down upon us stones 
from the sky or bring us a painful pu- 
nishment." 

33. But God would not punish them while 
you, [O Muhammad], are among them, 
and God would not punish them while 
they seek forgiveness. 

34. But why should God not punish them 
while they obstruct [people] from al- 
Masjid al-Haram and they were not [fit 
to be] its guardians? Its [true] guardians 
are not but the righteous, but most of 
them do not know. 

35. And their prayer at the House [i.e., the 
Ka'bah] was not except whisding and 



407 By which to judge between truth and false- 
hood. Also interpreted as a "way out" of difficul- 
ties. 



handclapping. So taste the punishment 
for what you disbelieved [i.e., practiced 
of deviations] . 

36. Indeed, those who disbelieve spend 
their wealth to avert [people] from the 
way of God. So they will spend it; then 
it will be for them a [source of] regret; 
then they will be overcome. And those 
who have disbelieved - unto Hell they 
will be gathered. 

37. [This is] so that God may distinguish 
the wicked from the good and place the 
wicked some of them upon others and 
heap them all together and put them in- 
to Hell. It is those who are the losers. 

38. Say to those who have disbelieved 
[that] if they cease, what has previously 
occurred will be forgiven for them. But 
if they return [to hostility] - then the 
precedent of the former [rebellious] 
peoples has already taken place. 408 

39. And fight them until there is no fit- 
nah 409 and [until] the religion [i.e., wor- 
ship], all of it, is for God. 410 And if they 
cease - then indeed, God is Seeing of 
what they do. 

40. But if they turn away - then know that 
God is your protector. Excellent is the 
protector, and Excellent is the helper. 

41. And know that anything you obtain of 
war booty - then indeed, for God is one 
fifth of it and for the Messenger 411 and 
for [his] near relatives 412 and the or- 

408 This is a warning that punishment is always 
the result of rebellion against God and His mes- 
sengers. 

409 Persecution. See footnote to 2:193. 

410 i.e., until polytheism is no longer dominant. 

411 To be sent in God's cause. 

412 The tribes of Banu Hashim and Banu Mutta- 
lib, who were not eligible for %akdh. 

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phans, the needy, and the [stranded] 
traveler, 413 if you have believed in God 
and in that which We sent down to Our 
Servant 414 on the day of criterion [i.e., 
decisive encounter] - the day when the 
two armies met [at Badr], And God, 
over all things, is competent. 

42. [Remember] when you were on the 
near side of the valley, and they were 
on the farther side, and the caravan was 
lower [in position] than you. If you had 
made an appointment [to meet], you 
would have missed the appointment. 
But [it was] so that God might accom- 
plish a matter already destined - that 
those who perished [through disbelief] 
would perish upon evidence and those 
who lived [in faith] would live upon 
evidence; and indeed, God is Hearing 
and Knowing. 

43. [Remember, O Muhammad], when 
God showed them to you in your 
dream as few; and if He had shown 
them to you as many, you [believers] 
would have lost courage and would 
have disputed in the matter [of whether 
to fight], but God saved [you from 
that]. Indeed, He is Knowing of that 
within the breasts. 

44. And [remember] when He showed 
them to you, when you met, as few in 
your eyes, and He made you [appear] as 
few in their eyes so that God might ac- 
complish a matter already destined. 
And to God are [all] matters returned. 

45. O you who have believed, when you 
encounter a company [from the enemy 
forces], stand firm and remember God 
much that you may be successful. 



413 The remaining four fifths are divided among 
the soldiers. 

414 Prophet Muhammad. 



46. And obey God and His Messenger, and 
do not dispute and [thus] lose courage 
and [then] your strength would depart; 
and be patient. Indeed, God is with the 
patient. 

47. And do not be like those who came 
forth from their homes insolendy and 
to be seen by people and avert [them] 
from the way of God. And God is en- 
compassing 415 of what they do. 

48. And [remember] when Satan made 
their deeds pleasing to them and said, 
"No one can overcome you today from 
among the people, and indeed, I am 
your protector." But when the two ar- 
mies sighted each other, he turned on 
his heels and said, "Indeed, I am disas- 
sociated from you. Indeed, I see what 
you do not see; indeed I fear God. And 
God is severe in penalty." 

49. [Remember] when the hypocrites and 
those in whose hearts was disease [i.e., 
arrogance and disbelief] said, "Their re- 
ligion has deluded those [Muslims]." 
But whoever relies upon God - then 
indeed, God is Exalted in Might and 
Wise. 

50. And if you could but see when the an- 
gels take the souls of those who disbe- 
lieved... 416 They are striking their faces 
and their backs and [saying], "Taste the 
punishment of the Burning Fire. 

51. That is for what your hands have put 
forth [of evil] and because God is not 
ever unjust to His servants." 



415 In knowledge. See footnote to 2:19. 

416 This sentence is left incomplete for additional 
effect. Its conclusion is left to the imagination of 
the reader or listener and estimated as "... you 
would see a dreadful sight." 

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52. [Theirs is] like the custom of the people 
of Pharaoh and of those before them. 
They disbelieved in the signs of God, 
so God sei2ed them for their sins. In- 
deed, God is Powerful and severe in 
penalty. 

53. That is because God would not change 
a favor which He had bestowed upon a 
people until they change what is within 
themselves. And indeed, God is Hear- 
ing and Knowing. 

54. [Theirs is] like the custom of the people 
of Pharaoh and of those before them. 
They denied the signs of their Lord, so 
We destroyed them for their sins, and 
We drowned the people of Pharaoh. 
And all [of them] were wrongdoers. 

55. Indeed, the worst of living creatures in 
the sight of God are those who have 
disbelieved, and they will not [ever] be- 
lieve - 

56. The ones with whom you made a treaty 
but then they break their pledge every 
time, and they do not fear God. 

57. So if you, [O Muhammad], gain domin- 
ance over them in war, disperse by 
[means of] them those behind them 
that perhaps they will be reminded. 417 

58. If you [have reason to] fear from a 
people betrayal, throw [their treaty] 
back to them, [putting you] on equal 
terms. 418 Indeed, God does not like 
traitors. 



417 i.e., kill them and make an example of them to 
discourage those who follow them. 
4,8 When you see signs of treachery from those 
with whom you have made a treaty, announce to 
them its dissolution so they will know exactly 
where they stand. 



59. And let not those who disbelieve think 
they will escape. Indeed, they will not 
cause failure [to God] . 

60. And prepare against them whatever you 
are able of power and of steeds of 
war 419 by which you may terrify the 
enemy of God and your enemy and 
others besides them whom you do not 
know [but] whom God knows. And 
whatever you spend in the cause of 
God will be fully repaid to you, and you 
will not be wronged. 

61. And if they incline to peace, then in- 
cline to it [also] and rely upon God. In- 
deed, it is He who is the Hearing, the 
Knowing. 

62. But if they intend to deceive you - then 
sufficient for you is God. It is He who 
supported you with His help and with 
the believers 

63. And brought together their hearts. If 
you had spent all that is in the earth, 
you could not have brought their hearts 
together; but God brought them to- 
gether. Indeed, He is Exalted in Might 
and Wise. 

64. O Prophet, sufficient for you is God 
and for whoever follows you of the be- 
lievers. 

65. O Prophet, urge the believers to batde. 
If there are among you twenty [who 
are] steadfast, they will overcome two 
hundred. And if there are among you 
one hundred [who are] steadfast, they 
will overcome a thousand of those who 
have disbelieved because they are a 
people who do not understand. 



419 Or equipment which serves the same purpose. 

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66. Now, God has lightened [the hardship] 
for you, and He knows that among you 
is weakness. So if there are from you 
one hundred [who are] steadfast, they 
will overcome two hundred. And if 
there are among you a thousand, they 
will overcome two thousand by permis- 
sion of God. And God is with the 
steadfast. 

67. It is not for a prophet to have captives 
[of war] until he inflicts a massacre 
[upon God's enemies] in the land. You 
[i.e., some Muslims] desire the com- 
modities of this world, 420 but God de- 
sires [for you] the Hereafter. And God 
is Exalted in Might and Wise. 

68. If not for a decree from God that pre- 
ceded, 421 you would have been touched 
for what you took by a great punish- 
ment. 

69. So consume what you have taken of 
war booty [as being] lawful and good, 
and fear God. Indeed, God is Forgiving 
and Merciful. 

70. O Prophet, say to whoever is in your 
hands of the captives, "If God knows 
[any] good in your hearts, He will give 
you [something] better than what was 
taken from you, and He will forgive 
you; and God is Forgiving and Merci- 
ful." 



72. Indeed, those who have believed and 
emigrated and fought with their wealth 
and lives in the cause of God and those 
who gave shelter and aided - they are 
allies of one another. But those who 
believed and did not emigrate - for you 
there is no guardianship of them until 
they emigrate. And if they seek help of 
you for the religion, then you must 
help, except against a people between 
yourselves and whom is a treaty. And 
God is Seeing of what you do. 

73. And those who disbelieved are allies of 
one another. If you do not do so [i.e., 
ally yourselves with other believers], 
there will be fitnah [i.e., disbelief and 
oppression] on earth and great corrup- 
tion. 

74. But those who have believed and emi- 
grated and fought in the cause of God 
and those who gave shelter and aided - 
it is they who are the believers, truly. 
For them is forgiveness and noble pro- 
vision. 

75. And those who believed after [the initial 
emigration] and emigrated and fought 
with you - they are of you. But those of 
[blood] relationship are more entided [to 
inheritance] in the decree of God. 422 
Indeed, God is Knowing of all things. 



71. But if they intend to betray you - then 
they have already betrayed God before, 
and He empowered [you] over them. 
And God is Knowing and Wise. 



420 i.e., material benefit, such as the ransom paid 
for prisoners. 

421 Three interpretations of the "decree" are giv- 
en: that by which the companions of Badr were 
forgiven, that by which indeliberate errors in 
judgement by believers are not punished, and that 
which made lawful the spoils of war. 



422 This applies to Muslim relatives only. Others 
may be given by bequest. See 4:11. 

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Surah 9: at-Tawbah 

This is the only Surah of the Qur'an to which 'In the Name of God, Most Gracious Most Merciful' is not 
prefixed. Though the commentators have given different reasons for this, the correct one that which has 
been given by Imam Razi: namely this is because the Prophet himself did not dictate it at the beginning of 
the Surah. Therefore the Companions did not prefix it and their successors followed them. This is a further 
proof of the fact that utmost care has been taken to keep the Qur'an intact so that it should remain in its 
complete and original form. 

Discourses and Periods of Revelation 

This Surah comprises three discourses. The first discourse (v. 1-37) was revealed in Dhul-Qa'adah 9 A.H. or 
thereabout. As the importance of the subject of the discourse required its declaration on the occasion of Hajj 
the Prophet dispatched Ali to follow Abu Bakr who had already left for Makkah as leader of the Pilgrims to 
the Ka'bah. He instructed Ali to deliver the discourse before the representatives of the different clans of 
Arabia so as to inform them of the new policy towards the polytheists. 

The second discourse (v. 38-72) was sent down in Rajab 9 AH. or a little before this when the Prophet was 
engaged in making preparations for the Campaign of Tabuk. In this discourse the Believers were urged to 
take active part in Jihad. 

The third discourse (v. 73-129) was revealed on his return from the Campaign of Tabuk. There are some 
pieces in this discourse that were sent down on different occasions during the same period and were after- 
wards consolidated by the Prophet into the Surah in accordance with inspiration from God. But this caused 
no interruption in its continuity because they dealt with the same subject and formed part of the same series 
of events. This discourse warns the hypocrites of their evil deeds and rebukes those Believers who had stayed 
behind in the Campaign of Tabuk. Then after taking them to task God pardons those true Believers who had 
not taken part in the Jihad in the Way of God for one reason or the other. 

Historical Background 

The series of events that have been discussed in this Surah took place after the Peace Treaty of Hudaibiyah. 
By that time one-third of Arabia had come under the sway of Islam which had established itself as a power- 
ful well organized and civilized Islamic State. There were two important events that followed - the first was 
the Conquest of Arabia. The Prophet was able to send missions among different clans for the propagation of 
Islam. The result was that during the short period of two years it became such a great power that it made the 
old order of ignorance feel helpless before it. So much so that the zealous elements from among the Quraysh 
were so exasperated that they broke the Treaty in order to encounter Islam in a decisive combat. But the 
Prophet took prompt action after the breach so as not to allow them any opportunity to gather enough force 
for this. He made a sudden invasion on Makkah in the month of Ramadan in 8 A.H. and conquered it. 
Though this conquest broke the backbone of the order of ignorance it made still another attack on Islam in 
the battlefield of Hunain which proved to be its death-knell. The clans of Hawazin, Thaqif, Naur Jushm and 
others gathered their entire forces in the battlefield in order to crush the reformative Revolution but they 
utterly failed in their evil designs. The defeat of 'ignorance' at Hunain paved the way for making the whole of 
Arabia the Abode of Islam' (Dar-ul-Islam). The result was that hardly a year had passed after the Battle of 
Hunain when the major portion of Arabia came within the fold of Islam and only a few upholders of the old 
order remained scattered over some corners of the country. 

The second event that contributed towards making Islam a formidable power was the Campaign of Tabuk 
which was necessitated by the provocative activities of the Christians living within or near the boundaries of 
the Roman Empire to the north of Arabia. Accordingly the Prophet with an army of thirty thousand 

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marched boldly towards the Roman Empire but the Romans evaded the encounter. The result was that the 
power of the Prophet and Islam increased manifold and deputations from all corners of Arabia began to wait 
upon him on his return from Tabuk in order to offer their allegiance to Islam and obedience to him. The 
Qur'an has described this triumph in Surah an-Nasr (s. 110): "When the victory of God has come and the 
conquest, And you see the people entering into the religion of God in multitudes..." 

Campaign to Tabuk 

The Campaign to Tabuk was the result of conflict with the Roman Empire that had started even before the 
conquest of Makkah. One of the missions sent after the Treaty of Hudaibiyah to different parts of Arabia 
visited the clans which lived in the northern areas adjacent to Syria. The majority of these people were Chris- 
tians who were under the influence of the Roman Empire. Contrary to all the principles of the commonly 
accepted international law they killed fifteen members of the delegation near a place known as Zat-u-Talah. 
Only Ka'ab bin Umair Ghifari, the head of the delegation, succeeded in escaping and reporting the sad inci- 
dent. Besides this Shurahbil bin Amr, the Christian governor of Busra who was directly under the Roman 
Caesar had also put to death Haritii bin Umair the ambassador of the Prophet who had been sent to him on 
a similar mission. 

These events convinced the Prophet that a strong action should be taken in order to make the territory adja- 
cent to the Roman Empire safe and secure for the Muslims. Accordingly in the month of Jamadi-ul-Ula 8 
A.H. he sent an army of three thousand towards the Syrian border. When this army reached near Ma'an the 
Muslims learnt that Shurahbil was marching with an army of one hundred thousand to fight-with them and 
that the Caesar who himself was at Hims had sent another army consisting of one hundred thousand soldiers 
under his brother Theodore. But in spite of such fearful news the brave small band of the Muslims marched 
on fearlessly and encountered the big army of Shurahbil at M'utah. And the result of the encounter in which 
the Muslims were fighting against fearful odds (the ratio of the two armies was 1:33) as very favorable for the 
enemy utterly failed to defeat them. This proved very helpful for the propagation of Islam. As a result those 
Arabs who were living in a state of semi-independence in Syria and near Syria and the clans of Najd near Iraq 
who were under the influence of the Persian Empire turned towards Islam and embraced it in thousands. 
For example the people of Bani Sulaim (whose chief was Abbas bin Mrdas Sulaimi) Ashja'a Ghatafan Zu- 
byan Fazarah etc. came into the fold of Islam at the same time. Above all Farvah bin Amral Juzami who was 
the commander of the Arab armies of the Roman Empire embraced Islam during that time and underwent 
the trial of his Faith in a way that filled the whole territory with wonder. When the Caesar came to know that 
Farvah had embraced Islam he ordered that he should be arrested and brought to his court. Then the Caesar 
said to him, 'You will have to choose one of the two things. Either give up your Islam and win your liberty 
and your former rank or remain a Muslim and face death.' He calmly chose Islam and sacrificed his life in the 
way of the Truth. 

No wonder that such events as these made the Caesar realize the nature of the danger that was threatening 
his Empire from Arabia. Accordingly in 9 A.H. he began to make military preparations to avenge the insult 
he had suffered at M'utah. The Ghassanid and other Arab chiefs also began to muster armies under him. 
When the Prophet who always kept himself well-informed even of the minutest things that could affect the 
Islamic Movement favorably or adversely came to know of these preparations he at once understood their 
meaning. Therefore without the least hesitation he decided to fight against the great power of the Caesar. He 
knew that the show of the slightest weakness would result in the utter failure of the Movement which was 
facing three great dangers at that time. First the dying power of 'ignorance' that had almost been crushed in 
the battlefield of Hunain might revive again. Secondly the Hypocrites of Madinah who were always on the 
look-out for such an opportunity might make full use of this to do the greatest possible harm to it. For they 
had already made preparations for this and had through a monk called Abu Amir, sent secret messages of 
their evil designs to the Christian king of Ghassan and the Caesar himself. Besides this, they had also built a 
mosque near Madinah for holding secret meetings for this purpose. The third danger was of an attack by the 
Caesar himself, who had already defeated Persia, the other great power of that period, and filled with awe the 

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adjacent territories. It is obvious that if all these three elements had been given an opportunity of taking a 
concerted action against the Muslims, Islam would have lost the fight it had almost won. That is why in this 
case the Prophet made an open declaration for making preparations for the Campaign against the Roman 
Empire, which was one of the two greatest empires of the world of that period. The declaration was made 
though all the apparent circumstances were against such a decision: for there was famine in the country and 
the long awaited crops were about to ripen: the burning heat of the scorching summer season of Arabia was 
at its height and there was not enough money for preparations in general, and for equipment and conveyance 
in particular. But in spite of these handicaps, when the Messenger of God realized the urgency of the occa- 
sion, he took this step which was to decide whether the Mission of the Truth was going to survive or perish. 
The very fact that he made an open declaration for making preparations for such a campaign to Syria against 
the Roman Empire showed how important it was, for this was contrary to his previous practice. Usually he 
took every precaution not to reveal beforehand the direction to which he was going nor the name of the 
enemy whom he was going to attack; nay, he did not move out of Madinah even in the direction of the cam- 
paign. 

All the parties in Arabia fully realized the grave consequences of this critical decision. The remnants of the 
lovers of the old order of 'ignorance' were anxiously waiting for the result of the Campaign, for they had 
pinned all their hopes on the defeat of Islam by the Romans. The 'hypocrites' also considered it to be their 
last chance of crushing the power of Islam by internal rebellion, if the Muslims suffered a defeat in Syria. 
They had, therefore, made full use of the Mosque built by them for hatching plots and had employed all their 
devices to render the Campaign a failure. On the other side, the true Believers also realized fully that the fate 
of the Movement for which they had been exerting their utmost for the last 22 years was now hanging in the 
balance. If they showed courage on that critical occasion, the doors of the whole outer world would be 
thrown open for the Movement to spread. But if they showed weakness or cowardice, then all the work they 
had done in Arabia would end in smoke. That is why these lovers of Islam began to make enthusiastic prepa- 
rations for the Campaign. Everyone of them tried to surpass the other in making contributions for the provi- 
sion of equipment for it. Uthman and Abdur Rahman bin awf presented large sums of money for this pur- 
pose. Umar contributed half of the earnings of his life and Abu Bakr the entire earnings of his life. The indi- 
gent Companions did not lag behind and presented whatever they could earn by the sweat of their labor and 
the women parted with their ornaments. Thousands of volunteers, who were filled with the desire of sacrific- 
ing their lives for Islam, came to the Prophet and requested that arrangements for weapons and conveyance 
be made for them so that they should join the expedition. Those who could not be provided with these shed 
tears of sorrow; the scene was so pathetic that it made the Prophet sad because of his inability to arm them. 
In short, the occasion became the touchstone for discriminating a true believer from a hypocrite. For, to lag 
behind in the Campaign meant that the very relationship of a person to Islam was doubtful. Accordingly, 
whenever a person lagged behind during the journey to Tabuk, the Prophet, on being informed, would spon- 
taneously say, "'Leave him alone. If there be any good in him, God will again join him with you, and if there be no good in 
him, then thank God that He relieved you of his evil company. " 

In short, the Prophet marched out towards Syria in Rajab A.H. 9, with thirty thousand fighters for the cause 
of Islam. The conditions in which the expedition was undertaken may be judged from the fact that the num- 
ber of camels with them was so small that many of them were obliged to walk on foot and to wait for their 
turns for several had to ride at a time on each camel. To add to this, there was the burning heat of the desert 
and the acute shortage of water. But they were richly rewarded for their firm resolve and sincere adherence 
to the cause and for their perseverance in the face of those great difficulties and obstacles. 

When they arrived at Tabuk, they learnt that the Caesar and his allies had withdrawn their troops from the 
frontier and there was no enemy to fight with. Thus they won a moral victory that increased their prestige 
manifold and, that too, without shedding a drop of blood. As a result of this, the boundaries of the Islamic 
State were extended right up to the Roman Empire, and the majority of the Arab clans, who were being used 
by the Caesar against Arabia, became the allies of the Muslims against the Romans. Above all, this moral 
victory of Tabuk afforded a golden opportunity to the Muslims to strengthen their hold on Arabia before 

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entering into a long conflict with the Romans. For it broke the back of those who had still been expecting 
that the old order of 'ignorance' might revive in the near future, whether they were the open upholders of 
shirk or the hypocrites who were hiding their shirk under the garb of Islam. The majority of such people 
were compelled by the force of circumstances to enter into the fold of Islam and, at least, make it possible 
for their descendants to become true Muslims. After this a mere impotent minority of the upholders of the 
old order was left in the field, but it could not stand in the way of the Islamic Revolution for the perfection 
of which God had sent His Messenger. 

Problems of the Period 

If we keep in view the preceding background we can easily find out the problems that were confronting the 
Community at that time. They were: (l)to make the whole of Arabia a perfect Dar-ul-Islam (2) to extend the 
influence of Islam to the adjoining countries (3) to crush the mischiefs of the hypocrites and (4) to prepare the 
Muslims for Jihad against the non-Muslim world. A clear declaration was made that all the treaties with the 
polytheists were abolished and the Muslims would be released from the treaty obligations with them after a 
respite of four months(v. 1-3). This declaration was necessary for uprooting completely the system of life 
based on Shirk (polytheism) and to make Arabia exclusively the center of Islam so that it should not in any 
way interfere with the spirit of Islam nor become an internal danger for it. 

A decree was issued that the guardianship of the Ka'bah, which held central position in all the affairs of Ara- 
bia should be wrested from the polytheists and placed permanently in the hands of the Believers (v. 12-18) 
and that all the customs and practices of the shirk of the era of 'ignorance' should be forcibly abolished: that 
the polytheists should not be allowed even to come near the "House" (v. 28). This was to eradicate every 
trace of Shirk from the "House" that was dedicated exclusively to the worship of God. In order to enable the 
Muslims to extend the influence of Islam outside Arabia they were enjoined to crush with sword the non- 
Muslim powers and to force them to accept the sovereignty of the Islamic State. As the great Roman and 
Persian Empires were the biggest hindrances in the way a conflict with them was inevitable. The object of 
Jihad was not to coerce them to accept Islam; they were free to accept or not to accept it, but to prevent 
them from thrusting forcibly their deviations upon others and the coming generations. The Muslims were 
enjoined to tolerate their misguidance only to the extent that they might have the freedom to remain mis- 
guided if they chose to be so provided that they paid Jizyah(v. 29) as a sign of their subjugation to the Islamic 
State. The third important problem was to crush the mischiefs of the hypocrites who had hitherto been tole- 
rated in spite of their flagrant crimes. Now that there was practically no pressure upon them from outside the 
Muslims were enjoined to treat them openly as disbelievers (v. 73). Accordingly the Prophet set on fire the 
house of Swailim where the hypocrites used to gather for consultations in order to dissuade the people from 
joining the expedition to Tabuk. Likewise on his return from Tabuk he ordered to pull down and burn the 
'Mosque' that had been built to serve as a cover for the hypocrites for hatching plots against the true Believ- 
ers. 

In order to prepare the Muslims for Jihad against the whole non-Muslim world it was necessary to cure them 
even of that slight weakness of faith from which they were still suffering. For there could be no greater in- 
ternal danger to the Islamic Community than the weakness of faith especially where it was going to engage 
itself single-handed in a conflict with the whole non-Muslim world. That is why those people who had lagged 
behind in the Campaign to Tabuk or had shown the least negligence were severely taken to task and were 
considered as hypocrites if they had no plausible excuse for not fulfilling that obligation. Moreover, a clear 
declaration was made that in future the sole criterion of a Muslim's faith shall be the exertions he makes for 
the uplift of the Word of God and the role he plays in the conflict between Islam and Kufr (disbelief). 
Therefore, if anyone will show any hesitation in sacrificing his life, money, time and energies, his faith shall 
not be regarded as genuine (v. 81-96). If the above-mentioned important points are kept in view during the 
study of this Surah, it will facilitate the understanding of its contents. 



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Surah 9: at-Tawbah 423 

[This is a declaration of] disassociation, 
from God and His Messenger, to those 
with whom you had made a treaty 
among the polytheists. 424 

So travel freely, [O disbelievers], 
throughout the land [during] four 
months but know that you cannot 
cause failure to God and that God will 
disgrace the disbelievers. 

And [it is] an announcement from God 
and His Messenger to the people on the 
day of the greater pilgrimage 425 that 
God is disassociated from the disbe- 
lievers, and [so is] His Messenger. So if 
you repent, that is best for you; but if 
you turn away - then know that you will 
not cause failure to God. 426 And give 
tidings to those who disbelieve of a 
painful punishment. 

Excepted are those with whom you 
made a treaty among the polytheists 
and then they have not been deficient 
toward you in anything or supported 
anyone against you; so complete for 
them their treaty until their term [has 
ended]. Indeed, God loves the righ- 
teous [who fear Him] . 

And when the sacred months 427 have 
passed, then kill the polytheists whe- 
rever you find them and capture them 
and besiege them and sit in wait for 



423 At-Tawbah. Repentance. This surah is also 
known as Bara'ah, meaning disassociation, free- 
dom, release or immunity. The words In the Name 
of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful 
were not revealed at the beginning of this surah, 

424 But who had violated it. 

425 Hajj, 'Umrah is the lesser pilgrimage. 

426 i.e., you cannot escape His punishment. 

427 The four months mentioned in verse 2, i.e., 
Muharram, Rajab, Dhul-Qa'dah and Dhul-Hijjah. 



9. 



10. 



11. 



them at every place of ambush. But if 
they should repent, establish prayer, 
and give zakah, let them [go] on their 
way. Indeed, God is Forgiving and 
Merciful. 

And if any one of the polytheists seeks 
your protection, then grant him protec- 
tion so that he may hear the words of 
God [i.e., the Qur'an], Then deliver him 
to his place of safety. That is because 
they are a people who do not know. 

How can there be for the polytheists a 
treaty in the sight of God and with His 
Messenger, except for those with 
whom you made a treaty at al-Masjid al- 
Haram? So as long as they are upright 
toward you, 428 be upright toward them. 
Indeed, God loves the righteous [who 
fear Him], 

How [can there be a treaty] while, if 
they gain dominance over you, they do 
not observe concerning you any pact of 
kinship or covenant of protection? 
They satisfy you with their mouths, but 
their hearts refuse [compliance], and 
most of them are defiantly disobedient. 

They have exchanged the signs of God 
for a small price and averted [people] 
from His way. Indeed, it was evil that 
they were doing. 

They do not observe toward a believer 
any pact of kinship or covenant of pro- 
tection. And it is they who are the 
transgressors. 

But if they repent, establish prayer, and 
give zakah, then they are your brothers 
in religion; and We detail the verses for 
a people who know. 



428 i.e., maintain the terms of the treaty. 

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12. And if they break their oaths after their 19. 
treaty and defame your religion, then 

fight the leaders of disbelief, for indeed, 
there are no oaths [sacred] to them; 
[fight them that] they might cease. 

13. Would you not fight a people who 
broke their oaths and determined to 
expel the Messenger, and they had be- 
gun [the attack upon] you the first 20. 
time? Do you fear them? But God has 

more right that you should fear Him, if 
you are [truly] believers. 

14. Fight them; God will punish them by 

your hands and will disgrace them and 21. 

give you victory over them and satisfy 
the breasts [i.e., desires] of a believing 
people 



15. And remove the fury in their [i.e., the 
believers'] hearts. And God turns in 
forgiveness to whom He wills; and God 
is Knowing and Wise. 



22. 



23. 



16. Do you think that you will be left [as 
you are] while God has not yet made 
evident those among you who strive 
[for His cause] and do not take other 
than God, His Messenger and the be- 
lievers as intimates? And God is Ac- 
quainted with what you do. 24. 

1 7. It is not for the polytheists to maintain 
the mosques of God [while] witnessing 
against themselves with disbelief. [For] 
those, their deeds have become worth- 
less, and in the Fire they will abide 
eternally. 

18. The mosques of God are only to be 
maintained by those who believe in 
God and the Last Day and establish 
prayer and give 2akah and do not fear 25. 
except God, for it is expected that 

those will be of the [righdy] guided. 



Have you made the providing of water 
for the pilgrim and the maintenance of 
al-Masjid al-Haram equal to [the deeds 
of] one who believes in God and the 
Last Day and strives in the cause of 
God? They are not equal in the sight of 
God. And God does not guide the 
wrongdoing people. 

The ones who have believed, emigrated 
and striven in the cause of God with 
their wealth and their lives are greater 
in rank in the sight of God. And it is 
those who are the attainers [of success]. 

Their Lord gives them good tidings of 
mercy from Him and approval and of 
gardens for them wherein is enduring 
pleasure. 

[They will be] abiding therein forever. 
Indeed, God has with Him a great re- 
ward. 

O you who have believed, do not take 
your fathers or your brothers as allies if 
they have preferred disbelief over be- 
lief. And whoever does so among you - 
then it is those who are the wrong- 
doers. 

Say, [O Muhammad], "If your fathers, 
your sons, your brothers, your wives, 
your relatives, wealth which you have 
obtained, commerce wherein you fear 
decline, and dwellings with which you 
are pleased are more beloved to you 
than God and His Messenger and jihad 
[i.e., striving] in His cause, then wait 
until God executes His command. And 
God does not guide the defiantly dis- 
obedient people." 

God has already given you victory in 
many regions and [even] on the day of 
Hunayn, when your great number 
pleased you, but it did not avail you at 



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all, and the earth was confining for you 
with [i.e., in spite of] its vastness; then 
you turned back, fleeing. 

26. Then God sent down His tranquillity 
upon His Messenger and upon the be- 
lievers and sent down soldiers [i.e., an- 
gels] whom you did not see and pu- 
nished those who disbelieved. And that 
is the recompense of the disbelievers. 

27. Then God will accept repentance after 
that for whom He wills; and God is 
Forgiving and Merciful. 

28. O you who have believed, indeed the 
polytheists are unclean, so let them not 
approach al-Masjid al-Haram after this, 
their [final] year. And if you fear priva- 
tion, God will enrich you from His 
bounty if He wills. Indeed, God is 
Knowing and Wise. 

29. Fight those who do not believe in God 
or in the Last Day and who do not 
consider unlawful what God and His 
Messenger have made unlawful and 
who do not adopt the religion of truth 
[i.e., Islam] from those who were given 
the Scripture - [fight] until they give the 
jizyah 429 willingly while they are hum- 
bled. 

30. The Jews say, "Ezra is the son of God"; 
and the Christians say, "The Messiah is 
the son of God." That is their state- 
ment from their mouths; they imitate 
the saying of those who disbelieved be- 
fore [them]. May God destroy them; 
how are they deluded? 



429 A tax required of non-Muslims exempting 
them from military service and entitling them to 
the protection of the Islamic state. Concurrently, 
^akdh is not taken from them, being an obligation 
only upon Muslims. 



31. They have taken their scholars and 
monks as lords besides God, 430 and [al- 
so] the Messiah, the son of Mary. 431 
And they were not commanded except 
to worship one God; there is no deity 
except Him. Exalted is He above what- 
ever they associate with Him. 

32. They want to extinguish the light of 
God with their mouths, but God refus- 
es except to perfect His light, although 
the disbelievers dislike it. 

33. It is He who has sent His Messenger 
with guidance and the religion of truth 
to manifest it over all religion, although 
they who associate others with God 
dislike it. 

34. O you who have believed, indeed many 
of the scholars and the monks devour 
the wealth of people unjusdy 432 and 
avert [them] from the way of God. And 
those who hoard gold and silver and 
spend it not in the way of God - give 
them tidings of a painful punishment. 

35. The Day when it 433 will be heated in the 
fire of Hell and seared therewith will be 
their foreheads, their flanks, and their 
backs, [it will be said], "This is what 
you hoarded for yourselves, so taste 
what you used to hoard." 

36. Indeed, the number of months with 
God is twelve [lunar] months in the 
register of God [from] the day He 
created the heavens and the earth; of 
these, four are sacred. 434 That is the 



430 By their obedience to them rather than to 
what God ordained. 

431 By their worship of him in conjunction with 
God.' 

432 i.e., through false pretence. 

433 The gold and silver which was hoarded, i.e., 
whose ^akdh was not paid. 

434 See footnote to 9:5. 

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9: Repentance 



correct religion [i.e., way], so do not 
wrong yourselves during them. 435 And 
fight against the disbelievers collectively 
as they fight against you collectively. 
And know that God is with the righ- 
teous [who fear Him] . 

37. Indeed, the postponing [of restriction 
within sacred months] is an increase in 
disbelief by which those who have dis- 
believed are led [further] astray. They 
make it 436 lawful one year and unlawful 
another year to correspond to the 
number made unlawful by God 437 and 
[thus] make lawful what God has made 
unlawful. Made pleasing to them is the 
evil of their deeds; and God does not 
guide the disbelieving people. 

38. O you who have believed, what is [the 
matter] with you that, when you are 
told to go forth in the cause of God, 
you adhere heavily to the earth? 438 Are 
you satisfied with the life of this world 
rather than the Hereafter? But what is 
the enjoyment of worldly life compared 
to the Hereafter except a [very] little. 

39. If you do not go forth, He will punish 
you with a painful punishment and will 
replace you with another people, and 
you will not harm Him at all. And God 
is over all things competent. 



out [of Makkah] as one of two, 439 when 
they were in the cave and he [i.e., Mu- 
hammad] said to his companion, "Do 
not grieve; indeed God is with us." And 
God sent down his tranquillity upon 
him and supported him with soldiers 
[i.e., angels] you did not see and made 
the word 440 of those who disbelieved 
the lowest, 441 while the word of God 442 
- that is the highest. And God is Ex- 
alted in Might and Wise. 

41 . Go forth, whether light or heavy, 443 and 
strive with your wealth and your lives in 
the cause of God. That is better for 
you, if you only knew. 

42. Had it been a near [i.e., easy] gain and a 
moderate trip, they [i.e., the hypocrites] 
would have followed you, but distant to 
them was the journey. And they will 
swear by God, 444 "If we were able, we 
would have gone forth with you," de- 
stroying themselves [through false 
oaths], and God knows that indeed 
they are liars. 

43. May God pardon you, [O Muhammad]; 
why did you give them permission [to 
remain behind]? [You should not have] 
until it was evident to you who were 
truthful and you knew [who were] the 
liars. 



40. If you do not aid him [i.e., the Prophet] 
- God has already aided him when 
those who disbelieved had driven him 



44. Those who believe in God and the Last 
Day would not ask permission of you 
to be excused from striving [i.e., fight- 
ing] with their wealth and their lives. 



435 i.e., do not violate the sacred months or 
commit aggression therein. 

436 pighting during a sacred month. 

437 If they found it advantageous to violate a sa- 
cred month, they would do so, designating 
another month in its place in which to observe 
the restrictions concerning fighting. 

438 i.e., inclining toward the comforts of worldly 
life. 



439 The second was his companion, Abu Bakr. 

440 i.e., their claims and slogans. 

441 i.e., degraded and dishonoured. 

442 "La ilaha ill-Allah" ("There is no deity worthy 
of worship except God"). 

443 i.e., young or old, riding or walking, in ease or 
in hardship — in all circumstances and conditions. 

444 When you return from the Tabuk expedition. 

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And God is Knowing of those who 
fear Him. 

45. Only those would ask permission of 
you who do not believe in God and the 
Last Day and whose hearts have 
doubted, and they, in their doubt, are 
hesitating. 

46. And if they had intended to go forth, 
they would have prepared for it [some] 
preparation. But God disliked their be- 
ing sent, so He kept them back, and 
they were told, "Remain [behind] with 
those who remain." 445 

47. Had they gone forth with you, they 
would not have increased you except in 
confusion, and they would have been 
active among you, seeking [to cause] 
you fitnah [i.e., chaos and dissension]. 
And among you are avid listeners to 
them. And God is Knowing of the 
wrongdoers. 

48. They had already desired dissension 
before and had upset matters for you 446 
until the truth came and the ordinance 
[i.e., victory] of God appeared, while 
they were averse. 

49. And among them is he who says, 
"Permit me [to remain at home] and do 
not put me to trial." Unquestionably, 
into trial they have fallen. 447 And in- 
deed, Hell will encompass the disbe- 
lievers. 

50. If good befalls you, it distresses them; 
but if disaster strikes you, they say, "We 



44d i.e., the women and children. 

446 Q r "turned matters related to you over [in 
their minds, considering how to cause you fail- 
ure]." 

447 By avoiding their obligation, they fell into de- 
struction. 



took our matter [in hand] before," 448 
and turn away while they are rejoicing. 

51. Say, "Never will we be struck except by 
what God has decreed for us; He is our 
protector." And upon God let the be- 
lievers rely. 

52. Say, "Do you await for us except one of 
the two best things [i.e., martydom or 
victory] while we await for you that 
God will afflict you with punishment 
from Himself or at our hands? So wait; 
indeed we, along with you, are waiting." 

53. Say, "Spend willingly or unwillingly; 
never will it be accepted from you. In- 
deed, you have been a defiantly disobe- 
dient people." 

54. And what prevents their expenditures 
from being accepted from them but 
that they have disbelieved in God and 
in His Messenger and that they come 
not to prayer except while they are lazy 
and that they do not spend except while 
they are unwilling. 

55. So let not their wealth or their children 
impress you. God only intends to pu- 
nish them through them in worldly life 
and that their souls should depart [at 
death] while they are disbelievers. 

56. And they swear by God that they are 
from among you while they are not 
from among you; but they are a people 
who are afraid. 

57. If they could find a refuge or some 
caves or any place to enter [and hide], 
they would turn to it while they run 
heedlessly. 



448 The hypocrites claim to have protected them- 
selves by remaining behind. 

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58. And among them are some who critic- 
ize you concerning the [distribution of] 
charities. If they are given from them, 
they approve; but if they are not given 
from them, at once they become angry. 

59. If only they had been satisfied with 
what God and His Messenger gave 
them and said, "Sufficient for us is 
God; God will give us of His bounty, 
and [so will] His Messenger; indeed, we 
are desirous toward God," 449 [it would 
have been better for them] . 

60. Zakah expenditures are only for the 
poor and for the needy and for those 
employed to collect [zakah] and for 
bringing hearts together [for Islam] and 
for freeing captives [or slaves] and for 
those in debt and for the cause of God 
and for the [stranded] traveler - an obli- 
gation [imposed] by God. And God is 
Knowing and Wise. 

61. And among them are those who abuse 
the Prophet and say, "He is an ear." 450 
Say, "[It is] an ear of goodness for you 
that believes in God and believes the 
believers and [is] a mercy to those who 
believe among you." And those who 
abuse the Messenger of God - for them 
is a painful punishment. 

62. They swear by God to you [Muslims] to 
satisfy you. But God and His Messen- 
ger are more worthy for them to satisfy, 
if they should be believers. 

63. Do they not know that whoever op- 
poses God and His Messenger - that 
for him is the fire of Hell, wherein he 
will abide eternally? That is the great 
disgrace. 

449 Meaning "We desire God and His grace and 
acceptance," or "We desire whatever God wills to 
give us of His bounty." 

450 i.e., one who believes everything he hears. 



64. The hypocrites are apprehensive lest a 
surah be revealed about them, inform- 
ing them of 451 what is in their hearts. 
Say, "Mock [as you wish]; indeed, God 
will expose that which you fear." 

65. And if you ask them, they will surely 
say, "We were only conversing and 
playing." Say, "Is it God and His verses 
and His Messenger that you were 
mocking?" 

66. Make no excuse; you have disbelieved 
[i.e., rejected faith] after your belief. If 
We pardon one faction of you - We will 
punish another faction because they 
were criminals. 

67. The hypocrite men and hypocrite 
women are of one another. They enjoin 
what is wrong and forbid what is right 
and close their hands. 452 They have for- 
gotten God, so He has forgotten them 
[accordingly]. Indeed, the hypocrites - it 
is they who are the defiantly disobe- 
dient. 

68. God has promised the hypocrite men 
and hypocrite women and the disbe- 
lievers the fire of Hell, wherein they will 
abide eternally. It is sufficient for them. 
And God has cursed them, and for 
them is an enduring punishment. 

69. [You disbelievers are] like those before 
you; they were stronger than you in 
power and more abundant in wealth 
and children. They enjoyed their por- 
tion [of worldly enjoyment], and you 
have enjoyed your portion as those be- 
fore you enjoyed their portion, and you 
have engaged [in vanities] like that in 
which they engaged. [It is] those whose 
deeds have become worthless in this 



4M i.e., exposing the truth about. 

452 i.e., refuse to spend in the way of God. 

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world and in the Hereafter, and it is 
they who are the losers. 

70. Has there not reached them the news 
of those before them - the people of 
Noah and [the tribes of] 'Aad and 
Thamud and the people of Abraham 
and the companions [i.e., dwellers] of 
Madyan and the towns overturned? 453 
Their messengers came to them with 
clear proofs. And God would never 
have wronged them, but they were 
wronging themselves. 



75. 



and His Messenger had enriched them 
of His bounty. 455 So if they repent, it is 
better for them; but if they turn away, 
God will punish them with a painful 
punishment in this world and the He- 
reafter. And there will not be for them 
on earth any protector or helper. 

And among them are those who made 
a covenant with God, [saying], "If He 
should give us from His bounty, we will 
surely spend in charity, and we will 
surely be among the righteous." 



71. The believing men and believing wom- 
en are allies of one another. They en- 
join what is right and forbid what is 
wrong and establish prayer and give 
zakah and obey God and His Messen- 
ger. Those - God will have mercy upon 
them. Indeed, God is Exalted in Might 
and Wise. 

72. God has promised the believing men 
and believing women gardens beneath 
which rivers flow, wherein they abide 
eternally, and pleasant dwellings in gar- 
dens of perpetual residence; but ap- 
proval from God is greater. It is that 
which is the great attainment. 

73. O Prophet, fight against the disbeliev- 
ers and the hypocrites and be harsh 
upon them. And their refuge is Hell, 
and wretched is the destination. 

74. They swear by God that they did not 
say [anything against the Prophet] while 
they had said the word of disbelief and 
disbelieved after their [pretense of] 
Islam and planned that which they were 
not to attain. 454 And they were not re- 
sentful except [for the fact] that God 

453 i.e., those to which Lot was sent and which 
earned for themselves God's punishment. See 
11:82-83. 

454 i.e., the murder of Prophet Muhammad. 



76. But when He gave them from His 
bounty, they were stingy with it and 
turned away while they refused. 

77. So He penalized them with hypocrisy in 
their hearts until the Day they will meet 
Him - because they failed God in what 
they promised Him and because they 
[habitually] used to lie. 

78. Did they not know that God knows 
their secrets and their private conversa- 
tions and that God is the Knower of 
the unseen? 

79. Those who criticize the contributors 
among the believers concerning [their] 
charities and [criticize] the ones who 
find nothing [to spend] except their ef- 
fort, so they ridicule them - God will 
ridicule them, and they will have a pain- 
ful punishment. 

80. Ask forgiveness for them, [O Muham- 
mad], or do not ask forgiveness for 
them. If you should ask forgiveness for 
them seventy times - never will God 
forgive them. That is because they dis- 
believed in God and His Messenger, 



i.e., for no reason. On the contrary, they 



should have been grateful. 

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and God does not guide the defiantly 87. 

disobedient people. 

81. Those who remained behind rejoiced in 

their staying [at home] after [the depar- 88. 

ture of] the Messenger of God and dis- 
liked to strive with their wealth and 
their lives in the cause of God and said, 
"Do not go forth in the heat." Say, 
"The fire of Hell is more intensive in 
heat" - if they would but understand. 89. 

82. So let them laugh a little and [then] 
weep much as recompense for what 
they used to earn. 

90. 

83. If God should return you to a faction 
of them [after the expedition] and then 
they ask your permission to go out [to 
battle], say, "You will not go out with 
me, ever, and you will never fight with 
me an enemy. Indeed, you were satis- 
fied with sitting [at home] the first time, 91 . 
so sit [now] with those who stay be- 
hind." 

84. And do not pray [the funeral prayer, O 
Muhammad], over any of them who 
has died - ever - or stand at his grave. 
Indeed, they disbelieved in God and 

His Messenger and died while they 92. 

were defiantly disobedient. 

85. And let not their wealth and their child- 
ren impress you. God only intends to 
punish them through them in this 
world and that their souls should depart 
[at death] while they are disbelievers. 

86. And when a surah was revealed [enjoin- 93. 
ing them] to believe in God and to fight 

with His Messenger, those of wealth 
among them asked your permission [to 
stay back] and said, "Leave us to be 
with them who sit [at home]." 



They were satisfied to be with those 
who stay behind, and their hearts were 
sealed over, so they do not understand. 

But the Messenger and those who be- 
lieved with him fought with their 
wealth and their lives. Those will have 
[all that is] good, and it is those who are 
the successful. 

God has prepared for them gardens 
beneath which rivers flow, wherein they 
will abide eternally. That is the great at- 
tainment. 

And those with excuses among the be- 
douins came to be permitted [to re- 
main] , and they who had lied 456 to God 
and His Messenger sat [at home]. There 
will strike those who disbelieved among 
them a painful punishment. 

There is not upon the weak or upon the 
ill or upon those who do not find any- 
thing to spend any discomfort [i.e., 
guilt] when they are sincere to God and 
His Messenger. There is not upon the 
doers of good any cause [for blame]. 
And God is Forgiving and Merciful. 

Nor [is there blame] upon those who, 
when they came to you that you might 
give them mounts, you said, "I can find 
nothing for you to ride upon." They 
turned back while their eyes overflowed 
with tears out of grief that they could 
not find something to spend [for the 
cause of God] . 

The cause [for blame] is only upon 
those who ask permission of you while 
they are rich. They are satisfied to be 
with those who stay behind, and God 
has sealed over their hearts, so they do 
not know. 



456 i.e., claimed faith. 

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94. They will make excuses to you when 
you have returned to them. Say, "Make 
no excuse - never will we believe you. 
God has already informed us of your 
news [i.e., affair]. And God will observe 
your deeds, and [so will] His Messen- 
ger; then you will be taken back to the 
Knower of the unseen and the wit- 
nessed, 457 and He will inform you of 
what you used to do." 

95. They will swear by God to you when 
you return to them that you would 
leave them alone. So leave them alone; 
indeed they are evil; and their refuge is 
Hell as recompense for what they had 
been earning. 

96. They swear to you so that you might be 
satisfied with them. But if you should 
be satisfied with them - indeed, God is 
not satisfied with a defiantly disobe- 
dient people. 

97. The bedouins are stronger in disbelief 
and hypocrisy and more likely not to 
know the limits of what Paws] God has 
revealed to His Messenger. And God is 
Knowing and Wise. 

98. And among the bedouins are some who 
consider what they spend as a loss 458 
and await for you turns of misfortune. 
Upon them will be a misfortune of evil. 
And God is Hearing and Knowing. 

99. But among the bedouins are some who 
believe in God and the Last Day and 
consider what they spend as means of 
nearness to God and of [obtaining] in- 
vocations of the Messenger. Unques- 
tionably, it is a means of nearness for 
them. God will admit them to His mer- 



457 See footnote to 6:73. 

458 i.e., a fine or penalty. 



cy. Indeed, God is Forgiving and Mer- 
ciful. 

100. And the first forerunners [in the faith] 
among the Muhajireen 459 and the 
Ansar 460 and those who followed them 
with good conduct - God is pleased 
with them and they are pleased with 
Him, and He has prepared for them 
gardens beneath which rivers flow, 
wherein they will abide forever. That is 
the great attainment. 

101. And among those around you of the 
bedouins are hypocrites, and [also] 
from the people of Madinah. They have 
become accustomed to hypocrisy. You, 
[O Muhammad], do not know them, 
[but] We know them. We will punish 
them twice [in this world]; then they 
will be returned to a great punishment. 

102. And [there are] others who have ac- 
knowledged their sins. They had mixed 
[i.e., polluted] a righteous deed with 
another that was bad. 461 Perhaps God 
will turn to them in forgiveness. In- 
deed, God is Forgiving and Merciful. 

103. Take, [O, Muhammad], from their 
wealth a charity by which you purify 
them and cause them increase, and in- 
voke [God's blessings] upon them. In- 
deed, your invocations are reassurance 
for them. And God is Hearing and 
Knowing. 

104. Do they not know that it is God who 
accepts repentance from His servants 

459 Those who emigrated from Makkah and set- 
tled in Madinah for the cause of Islam. 

460 The inhabitants of Madinah who had accepted 
Islam and assisted the Prophet and other emi- 
grants upon their arrival there. 

461 This refers to their having previously taken 
part in jihad but having abstained on the occasion 
of Tabuk. 

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and receives charities and that it is God 
who is the Accepting of repentance, the 
Merciful? 



their hearts until their hearts are cut 
[i.e., stopped]. And God is Knowing 
and Wise. 



105. And say, "Do [as you will], for God will 
see your deeds, and [so will] His Mes- 
senger and the believers. And you will 
be returned to the Knower of the un- 
seen and the witnessed, and He will in- 
form you of what you used to do." 

106. And [there are] others deferred until the 
command of God - whether He will 
punish them or whether He will forgive 
them. And God is Knowing and Wise. 

107. And [there are] those [hypocrites] who 
took for themselves a mosque for caus- 
ing harm and disbelief and division 
among the believers and as a station for 
whoever had warred against God and 
His Messenger before. And they will 
surely swear, "We intended only the 
best." And God testifies that indeed 
they are liars. 

108. Do not stand [for prayer] within it - 
ever. A mosque founded on righteous- 
ness from the first day 462 is more wor- 
thy for you to stand in. Within it are 
men who love to purify themselves; 
and God loves those who purify them- 
selves. 

109. Then is one who laid the foundation of 
his building on righteousness [with fear] 
from God and [seeking] His approval 
better or one who laid the foundation 
of his building on the edge of a bank 
about to collapse, so it collapsed with 
him into the fire of Hell? And God 
does not guide the wrongdoing people. 

110. Their building which they built will not 
cease to be a [cause of] skepticism in 



111. Indeed, God has purchased from the 
believers their lives and their properties 
[in exchange] for that they will have Pa- 
radise. They fight in the cause of God, 
so they kill and are killed. [It is] a true 
promise [binding] upon Him in the To- 
rah and the Gospel and the Qur'an. 
And who is truer to his covenant than 
God? So rejoice in your transaction 
which you have contracted. And it is 
that which is the great attainment. 

112. [Such believers are] the repentant, the 
worshippers, the praisers [of God], the 
travelers [for His cause], those who 
bow and prostrate [in prayer], those 
who enjoin what is right and forbid 
what is wrong, and those who observe 
the limits [set by] God. And give good 
tidings to the believers. 

113. It is not for the Prophet and those who 
have believed to ask forgiveness for the 
polytheists, even if they were relatives, 
after it has become clear to them that 
they are companions of Hellfire. 

114. And the request of forgiveness of Ab- 
raham for his father was only because 
of a promise he had made to him. But 
when it became apparent to him [i.e., 
Abraham] that he [i.e., the father] was 
an enemy to God, he disassociated 
himself from him. Indeed was Abra- 
ham compassionate and patient. 

115. And God would not let a people stray 
after He has guided them until He 
makes clear to them what they should 
avoid. Indeed, God is Knowing of all 
things. 



- This description is of the Quba' mosque. 



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116. Indeed, to God belongs the dominion 
of the heavens and the earth; He gives 
life and causes death. And you have not 
besides God any protector or any hel- 
per. 

117. God has already forgiven the Prophet 
and the Muhajireen and the Ansar who 
followed him in the hour of difficulty 
after the hearts of a party of them had 
almost inclined [to doubt], and then He 
forgave them. Indeed, He was to them 
Kind and Merciful. 

118. And [He also forgave] the three who 
were left behind [and regretted their er- 
ror] to the point that the earth closed in 
on them in spite of its vastness 463 and 
their souls confined [i.e., anguished] 
them and they were certain that there is 
no refuge from God except in Him. 
Then He turned to them so they could 
repent. Indeed, God is the Accepting of 
repentance, the Merciful. 

119. O you who have believed, fear God 
and be with those who are true. 

120. It was not [proper] for the people of 
Madlnah and those surrounding them 
of the bedouins that they remain be- 
hind after [the departure of] the Mes- 
senger of God or that they prefer 
themselves over his self. 464 That is be- 
cause they are not afflicted by thirst or 
fatigue or hunger in the cause of God, 
nor do they tread on any ground that 
enrages the disbelievers, nor do they in- 
flict upon an enemy any infliction but 
that it is registered for them as a righ- 
teous deed. Indeed, God does not allow 



463 Thus it seemed to them in their extreme dis- 
tress. 

464 In times of hardship. Rather, they should have 
been willing to endure with the Prophet whatever 



was necessary for Islam. 



to be lost the reward of the doers of 
good. 

121. Nor do they spend an expenditure, 
small or large, or cross a valley but that 
it is registered for them that God may 
reward them for the best of what they 
were doing. 

122. And it is not for the believers to go 
forth [to battle] all at once. For there 
should separate from every division of 
them a group [remaining] to obtain un- 
derstanding in the religion and warn 
[i.e., advise] their people when they re- 
turn to them that they might be cau- 
tious. 

123. O you who have believed, fight those 
adjacent to you of the disbelievers and 
let them find in you harshness. And 
know that God is with the righteous. 

1 24. And whenever a surah is revealed, there 
are among them [i.e., the hypocrites] 
those who say, "Which of you has this 
increased faith?" As for those who be- 
lieved, it has increased them in faith, 
while they are rejoicing. 

125. But as for those in whose hearts is dis- 
ease, it has [only] increased them in evil 
[in addition] to their evil. 465 And they 
will have died while they are disbeliev- 
ers. 

126. Do they not see that they are tried 
every year once or twice but then they 
do not repent nor do they remember? 

127. And whenever a surah is revealed, they 
look at each other, [saying], "Does any- 
one see you?" and then they dismiss 
themselves. God has dismissed their 



465 Literally, "filth," i.e., disbelief and hypocrisy. 

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hearts because they are a people who 
do not understand. 

128. There has certainly come to you a Mes- 
senger from among yourselves. Griev- 
ous to him is what you suffer; [he is] 
concerned over you [i.e., your guidance] 
and to the believers is kind and merci- 
ful. 

129. But if they turn away, [O Muhammad], 
say, "Sufficient for me is God; there is 
no deity except Him. On Him I have 
relied, and He is the Lord of the Great 
Throne." 



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Surah 10: Yunus 

Period of Revelation 

We learn from hadith the Surah was revealed in Makkah. But there are some people who are of the opinion 
that some of its verses were revealed at Madinah. This is however a superficial view. The continuity of the 
theme clearly shows that this does not comprise isolated verses or discourses that were revealed at different 
times and on different occasions. On the contrary it is from the beginning to the end a closely connected 
discourse which must have been revealed at one sitting. Besides this the nature of its theme is itself a clear 
proof that the Surah belongs to the Makkan period. 

Time of Revelation 

We have no hadith in regard to the time of its revelation but its subject matter gives clear indication that it 
must have been revealed during the last stage of the Prophet's residence at Makkah. For the mode of the 
discourse suggests that at the time of its revelation the antagonism of the opponents of the Message had 
become so intense that they could not tolerate even the presence of the Prophet and his followers among 
themselves and that things had come to such a pass as to leave no hope that they would ever understand and 
accept the Message of the Prophet. This indicates that the last stage of the Prophet's life among the people 
had come and the final warning like the one in this Surah had to be given. These characteristics of the dis- 
course are clear proof that it was revealed during the last stage of the Movement at Makkah. Another thing 
that determines more specifically the order of the Surahs of the last stage at Makkah is the mention (or ab- 
sence) of some open or covert hint about Hijrah (Emigration) from Makkah. As this Surah does not contain 
any hint whatsoever about this it is a proof that it preceded those Surahs which contain it. Now that we have 
specified the time of its revelation there is no need of repeating its historical background because that has 
already been stated in Surahs 6 and 7. 

Subject 

This discourse deals with the invitation to the Message admonition and warning. In the very introductory 
verses the invitation has been extended like this: "The people consider it a strange thing that this Message is 
being conveyed by a human being and charge him with sorcery whereas there is nothing strange in it nor has 
it any connection with sorcery or sooth saying. It simply informs you of two realities. First God Who has 
created the universe and manages it is in fact your Master and Lord and He alone is entitled to your worship. 
The second reality is that after the life in this world there will be another life in the Next World where you 
shall have to render full account of the life of this world and be rewarded or punished according to whether 
you adopted the righteous attitude as required by Him after acknowleding Him as your Masters or acted 
against His will. Both of these realities which the Messenger is presenting before you are "realities" in them- 
selves whether you acknowledge them as such or not. He is inviting you to accept these and regulate your 
lives in accordance with them; if you accept these you will have a very blessed end; otherwise join shall meet 
with evil consequences." 



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Surah 10: Yunus 466 

In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, 
the Most Merciful 

1 . Alif, Lam, Ra. 467 These are the verses of 
the wise 468 Book. 

2. Have the people been ama2ed that We 
revealed [revelation] to a man from 
among them, [saying], "Warn mankind 
and give good tidings to those who be- 
lieve that they will have a [firm] prece- 
dence of honor 469 with their Lord"? 
[But] the disbelievers say, "Indeed, this 
is an obvious magician." 

3. Indeed, your Lord is God, who created 
the heavens and the earth in six days 
and then established Himself above the 
Throne, 470 arranging the matter [of His 
creation] . There is no intercessor except 
after His permission. That is God, your 
Lord, so worship Him. Then will you 
not remember? 

4. To Him is your return all together. [It 
is] the promise of God [which is] truth. 
Indeed, He begins the [process of] 
creation and then repeats it that He 
may reward those who have believed 
and done righteous deeds, in justice. 
But those who disbelieved will have a 
drink of scalding water and a painful 
punishment for what they used to deny. 

5. It is He who made the sun a shining 
light and the moon a derived light and 
determined for it phases - that you may 
know the number of years and account 

466 Yiinus: (The Prophet) Jonah. 

467 See footnote to 2:1. 

468 The adjective "wise" expresses the qualities of 
will, purpose, discrimination and precision. 

469 i.e., a sure position due to their righteous 
deeds. 

470 See footnote to 2:19. 



10. 



11. 



12. 



[of time]. God has not created this ex- 
cept in truth. He details the signs for a 
people who know. 

Indeed, in the alternation of the night 
and the day and [in] what God has 
created in the heavens and the earth are 
signs for a people who fear God. 

Indeed, those who do not expect the 
meeting with Us and are satisfied with 
the life of this world and feel secure 
therein and those who are heedless of 
Our signs - 

For those their refuge will be the Fire 
because of what they used to earn. 

Indeed, those who have believed and 
done righteous deeds - their Lord will 
guide them because of their faith. Be- 
neath them rivers will flow in the Gar- 
dens of Pleasure. 

Their call therein will be, "Exalted are 
You, O God," and their greeting there- 
in will be, "Peace." And the last of their 
call will be, "Praise to God, Lord of the 
worlds!" 

And if God was to hasten for the 
people the evil [they invoke] 471 as He 
hastens for them the good, their term 
would have been ended for them. 472 
But We leave the ones who do not ex- 
pect the meeting with Us, in their 
transgression, wandering blindly. 

And when affliction touches man, he 
calls upon Us, whether lying on his side 
or sitting or standing; but when We 
remove from him his affliction, he con- 
tinues [in disobedience] as if he had 



471 In anger or in heedlessness. 

472 i.e., God would have destroyed them on ac- 
count of that. 

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never called upon Us to [remove] an af- 
fliction that touched him. Thus is made 
pleasing to the transgressors that which 
they have been doing. 

13. And We had already destroyed genera- 
tions before you when they wronged, 
and their messengers had come to them 
with clear proofs, but they were not to 
believe. Thus do We recompense the 
criminal people. 

14. Then We made you successors in the 
land after them so that We may observe 
how you will do. 

15. And when Our verses are recited to 
them as clear evidences, those who do 
not expect the meeting with Us say, 
"Bring us a Qur'an other than this or 
change it." Say, [O Muhammad], "It is 
not for me to change it on my own ac- 
cord. I only follow what is revealed to 
me. Indeed I fear, if I should disobey 
my Lord, the punishment of a tre- 
mendous Day." 

16. Say, "If God had willed, I would not 
have recited it to you, nor would He 
have made it known to you, for I had 
remained among you a lifetime before 
it. 473 Then will you not reason? 

17. So who is more unjust than he who 
invents a lie about God or denies His 
signs? Indeed, the criminals will not 
succeed. 

1 8. And they worship other than God that 
which neither harms them nor benefits 
them, and they say, "These are our in- 
tercessors with God." Say, "Do you in- 
form God of something He does not 
know in the heavens or on the earth?" 



473 The Prophet lived among his people forty 
years before receiving any revelation. 



Exalted is He and high above what they 
associate with Him. 

19. And mankind was not but one com- 
munity [united in religion], but [then] 
they differed. And if not for a word 474 
that preceded from your Lord, it would 
have been judged between them [im- 
mediately] concerning that over which 
they differ. 

20. And they say, "Why is a sign not sent 
down to him from his Lord?" So say, 
"The unseen is only for God [to admi- 
nister], so wait; indeed, I am with you 
among those who wait." 

21. And when We give the people a taste 
of mercy after adversity has touched 
them, at once they conspire against Our 
verses. Say, "God is swifter in strategy." 
Indeed, Our messengers [i.e., angels] 
record that which you conspire. 

22. It is He who enables you to travel on 
land and sea until, when you are in 
ships and they sail with them 475 by a 
good wind and they rejoice therein, 
there comes a storm wind and the 
waves come upon them from every- 
where and they assume that they are 
surrounded [i.e., doomed], supplicating 
God, sincere to Him in religion, "If 
You should save us from this, we will 
surely be among the thankful." 

23. But when He saves them, at once they 
commit injustice 476 upon the earth 
without right. O mankind, your injus- 

474 God's decree to allow time on earth for His 
creation or not to punish anyone before evidence 
has come to him. 

475 The change in pronoun from the second to 
third person shows that the following description 
applies specifically to the disbelievers. 

476 By oppression and disobedience or by invok- 
ing others besides God. 

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tice is only against yourselves, [being 
merely] the enjoyment of worldly life. 
Then to Us is your return, and We will 
inform you of what you used to do. 

24. The example of [this] worldly life is but 
like rain which We have sent down 
from the sky that the plants of the earth 
absorb - [those] from which men and 
livestock eat - until, when the earth has 
taken on its adornment and is beauti- 
fied and its people suppose that they 
have capability over it, there comes to it 
Our command by night or by day, and 
We make it as a harvest, 477 as if it had 
not flourished yesterday. Thus do We 
explain in detail the signs for a people 
who give thought. 

25. And God invites to the Home of Peace 
[i.e., Paradise] and guides whom He 
wills to a straight path. 

26. For them who have done good is the 
best [reward] - and extra. 478 No dark- 
ness will cover their faces, nor humilia- 
tion. Those are companions of Para- 
dise; they will abide therein eternally. 

27. But they who have earned [blame for] 
evil doings - the recompense of an evil 
deed is its equivalent, and humiliation 
will cover them. They will have from 
God no protector. It will be as if their 
faces are covered with pieces of the 
night - so dark [are they]. Those are the 
companions of the Fire; they will abide 
therein eternally. 

28. And [mention, O Muhammad], the Day 
We will gather them all together - then 



We will say to those who associated 
others with God, "[Remain in] your 
place, you and your 'partners'." 479 Then 
We will separate them, 480 and their 
"partners" will say, "You did not used 
to worship us, 481 

29. And sufficient is God as a witness be- 
tween us and you that we were of your 
worship unaware." 

30. There, [on that Day], every soul will be 
put to trial for what it did previously, 
and they will be returned to God, their 
master, the Truth, and lost from them 
is whatever they used to invent. 

31. Say, "Who provides for you from the 
heaven and the earth? Or who controls 
hearing and sight and who brings the 
living out of the dead and brings the 
dead out of the living and who arranges 
[every] matter?" They will say, "God," 
so say, "Then will you not fear Him?" 

32. For that is God, your Lord, the Truth. 
And what can be beyond truth except 
error? So how are you averted? 

33. Thus the word [i.e., decree] of your 
Lord has come into effect upon those 
who defiantly disobeyed - that they will 
not believe. 

34. Say, "Are there of your 'partners' any 
who begins creation and then repeats 
it?" Say, "God begins creation and then 
repeats it, so how are you deluded?" 

35. Say, "Are there of your 'partners' any 
who guides to the truth?" Say, "God 



477 Its vegetation having been cut down or 
uprooted, i.e., utterly destroyed. 

478 In addition to the pleasures of Paradise, they 
will be able to see God, as reported in an authen- 
tic hadith narrated by Muslim. 



479 Those they had associated with God. 

480 p r0 m the believers. 

481 The inanimate objects, such as idols, will not 
have been aware of their worship of them. But 
those beings who consented to be worshipped 
will lie and deny it on the Day of Judgement. 

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guides to the truth. So is He who 
guides to the truth more worthy to be 
followed or he who guides not unless 
he is guided? Then what is [wrong] with 
you - how do you judge?" 

36. And most of them follow not except 
assumption. Indeed, assumption avails 
not against the truth at all. Indeed, God 
is Knowing of what they do. 

37. And it was not [possible] for this 
Qur'an to be produced by other than 
God, but [it is] a confirmation of what 
was before it and a detailed explanation 
of the [former] Scripture, about which 
there is no doubt, 482 from the Lord of 
the worlds. 

38. Or do they say [about the Prophet], 
"He invented it?" Say, "Then bring 
forth a surah like it and call upon [for 
assistance] whomever you can besides 
God, if you should be truthful." 

39. Rather, they have denied that which 
they encompass not in knowledge and 
whose interpretation has not yet come 
to them. Thus did those before them 
deny. Then observe how was the end 
of the wrongdoers. 

40. And of them are those who believe in 
it, and of them are those who do not 
believe in it. And your Lord is most 
knowing of the corrupters. 

41. And if they deny you, [O Muhammad], 
then say, "For me are my deeds, and 
for you are your deeds. You are disas- 
sociated from what I do, and I am dis- 
associated from what you do." 

42. And among them are those who listen 
to you. But can you cause the deaf to 



482 This phrase refers back to the Qur'an 



hear [i.e., benefit from this hearing], al- 
though they will not use reason? 

43. And among them are those who look at 
you. But can you guide the blind al- 
though they will not [attempt to] see? 

44. Indeed, God does not wrong the 
people at all, but it is the people who 
are wronging themselves. 

45. And on the Day when He will gather 
them, [it will be] as if they had not re- 
mained [in the world] but an hour of 
the day, [and] they will know each oth- 
er. Those will have lost who denied the 
meeting with God and were not 
guided. 

46. And whether We show you some of 
what We promise them, [O Muham- 
mad], or We take you in death, to Us is 
their return; then, [either way], God is a 
witness concerning what they are 
doing. 

47. And for every nation is a messenger. So 
when their messenger comes, 483 it will 
be judged between them in justice, and 
they will not be wronged. 

48. And they say, "When is [the fulfillment 
of] this promise, if you should be truth- 
ful?" 

49. Say, "I possess not for myself any harm 
or benefit except what God should will. 
For every nation is a [specified] term. 
When their time has come, then they 
will not remain behind an hour, nor will 
they precede [it]." 



483 To witness on the Day of Judgement. Another 
meaning is "Once a messenger has come [to 
them in this world] ..." 

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50. Say, "Have you considered: if His pu- 
nishment should come to you by night 
or by day - for which [aspect] of it 
would the criminals be impatient?" 484 

51. Then is it that when it has [actually] 
occurred you will believe in it? Now? 485 
And you were [once] for it impatient. 

486 

52. Then it will be said to those who had 
wronged, "Taste the punishment of 
eternity; are you being recompensed 
except for what you used to earn?" 

53. And they ask information of you, [O 
Muhammad], "Is it true?" Say, "Yes, by 
my Lord. Indeed, it is truth; and you 
will not cause failure [to God]." 

54. And if each soul that wronged had eve- 
rything on earth, it would offer it in 
ransom. And they will confide regret 
when they see the punishment; and 
they will be judged in justice, and they 
will not be wronged. 

55. Unquestionably, to God belongs what- 
ever is in the heavens and the earth. 
Unquestionably, the promise of God is 
truth, but most of them do not know. 

56. He gives life and causes death, and to 
Him you will be returned. 

57. O mankind, there has to come to you 
instruction from your Lord and healing 
for what is in the breasts and guidance 
and mercy for the believers. 



58. Say, "In the bounty of God and in His 
mercy - in that let them rejoice; it is 
better than what they accumulate." 

59. Say, "Have you seen what God has sent 
down to you of provision of which you 
have made [some] lawful and [some] 
unlawful?" Say, "Has God permitted 
you [to do so], or do you invent [some- 
thing] about God?" 

60. And what will be the supposition of 
those who invent falsehood about God 
on the Day of Resurrection? 487 Indeed, 
God is full of bounty to the people, but 
most of them are not grateful. 

61. And, [O Muhammad], you are not [en- 
gaged] in any matter or recite any of the 
Qur'an and you [people] do not do any 
deed except that We are witness over 
you when you are involved in it. And 
not absent from your Lord is any [part] 
of an atom's weight 488 within the earth 
or within the heaven or [anything] 
smaller than that or greater but that it is 
in a clear register. 

62. Unquestionably, [for] the allies of God 
there will be no fear concerning them, 
nor will they grieve - 

63. Those who believed and were fearing 
God. 

64. For them are good tidings in the 
worldly life and in the Hereafter. No 
change is there in the words [i.e., de- 
crees] of God. That is what is the great 
attainment. 



484 "Impatience" refers to the disbelievers' ridi- 
cule of the Prophet by telling him to produce 
God's punishment as proof of his truthfulness. 

485 i.e., when it is too late to benefit from belief. 

486 Challenging those who warned of it to bring it 
on immediately. 



65. And let not their speech grieve you. 
Indeed, honour [due to power] belongs 



487 i.e., what do they think He will do with them. 

488 Q r "(jjg we ight of a small ant." 

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to God entirely. He is the Hearing, the 
Knowing. 

66. Unquestionably, to God belongs 72. 
whoever is in the heavens and whoever 

is on the earth. And those who invoke 
other than God do not [actually] follow 
[His] "partners." They follow not ex- 
cept assumption, and they are not but 
falsifying. 

73. 

67. It is He who made for you the night to 
rest therein and the day, giving sight. 489 
Indeed in that are signs for a people 
who listen. 

68. They 490 have said, "God has taken a 

son." Exalted is He; He is the [one] 74. 

Free of need. To Him belongs whatev- 
er is in the heavens and whatever is in 
the earth. You have no authority for 
this [claim] . Do you say about God that 
which you do not know? 

69. Say, "Indeed, those who invent false- 75. 
hood about God will not succeed." 

70. [For them is brief] enjoyment in this 
world; then to Us is their return; then 

We will make them taste the severe pu- 76, 

nishment because they used to disbe- 
lieve. 

71. And recite to them the news of Noah, 77. 
when he said to his people, "O my 
people, if my residence and my remind- 
ing of the signs of God has become 
burdensome upon you - then I have re- 
lied upon God. So resolve upon your 78. 
plan and [call upon] your associates. 

Then let not your plan be obscure to 



you. 491 Then carry it out upon me and 
do not give me respite. 

And if you turn away [from my advice] 
- then no payment have I asked of you. 
My reward is only from God, and I 
have been commanded to be of the 
Muslims [i.e., those who submit to 
God]." 

And they denied him, so We saved him 
and those with him in the ship and 
made them successors, and We 
drowned those who denied Our signs. 
Then see how was the end of those 
who were warned. 

Then We sent after him messengers to 
their peoples, and they came to them 
with clear proofs. But they were not to 
believe in that which they had denied 
before. 492 Thus We seal over the hearts 
of the transgressors. 

Then We sent after them Moses and 
Aaron to Pharaoh and his establish- 
ment with Our signs, but they behaved 
arrogandy and were a criminal people. 

So when there came to them the truth 
from Us, they said, "Indeed, this is ob- 
vious magic." 

Moses said, "Do you say [thus] about 
the truth when it has come to you? Is 
this magic? But magicians will not suc- 
ceed." 

They said, "Have you come to us to 
turn us away from that upon which we 
found our fathers and so that you two 



489 i.e., making things visible. 

490 The Christians and others. 



491 i.e., Do not let it be a source of doubt or an- 
xiety to you but let it be clear, open and defined. 

492 i.e., the succeeding generations were persistent 
in disbelief. 

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may have grandeur in the land? And we 
are not believers in you." 

79. And Pharaoh said, "Bring to me every 
learned magician." 

80. So when the magicians came, Moses 
said to them, "Throw down whatever 
you will throw." 

81. And when they had thrown, Moses 
said, "What you have brought is [only] 
magic. Indeed, God will expose its 
worthlessness. Indeed, God does not 
amend the work of corrupters. 

82. And God will establish the truth by His 
words, even if the criminals dislike it." 

83. But no one believed Moses, except 
[some] offspring [i.e., youths] among 
his people, for fear of Pharaoh and his 
establishment that they would perse- 
cute them. And indeed, Pharaoh was 
haughty within the land, and indeed, he 
was of the transgressors. 

84. And Moses said, "O my people, if you 
have believed in God, then rely upon 
Him, if you should be Muslims [i.e., 
submitting to him]." 

85. So they said, "Upon God do we rely. 
Our Lord, make us not [objects of] trial 
for the wrongdoing people. 

86. And save us by Your mercy from the 
disbelieving people." 

87. And We inspired to Moses and his 
brother, "Settle your people in Egypt in 
houses and make your houses [facing 
the] qiblah 493 and establish prayer and 
give good tidings to the believers." 

493 In order that they might pray therein unseen 
by their enemy. 



88. And Moses said, "Our Lord, indeed 
You have given Pharaoh and his estab- 
lishment splendor and wealth in the 
worldly life, our Lord, that they may 
lead [men] astray from Your way. Our 
Lord, obliterate their wealth and harden 
their hearts so that they will not believe 
until they see the painful punishment." 

89. [God] said, "Your supplication has 
been answered." 494 So remain on a right 
course and follow not the way of those 
who do not know." 

90. And We took the Children of Israel 
across the sea, and Pharaoh and his 
soldiers pursued them in tyranny and 
enmity until, when drowning overtook 
him, he said, "I believe that there is no 
deity except that in whom the Children 
of Israel believe, and I am of the Mus- 
lims." 

91. Now? And you had disobeyed [Him] 
before and were of the corrupters? 

92. So today We will save you in body 495 
that you may be to those who succeed 
you a sign. And indeed, many among 
the people, of Our signs, are heedless. 

93. And We had certainty settled the Child- 
ren of Israel in an agreeable settlement 
and provided them with good things. 
And they did not differ until [after] 
knowledge had come to them. Indeed, 
your Lord will judge between them on 
the Day of Resurrection concerning 
that over which they used to differ. 

94. So if you are in doubt, [O Muhammad], 
about that which We have revealed to 

494 Literally, "the supplication of both of you," 
i.e., that of Moses and of Aaron, who joined by 
saying, "Ameen" ("O God, respond"). 

495 i.e., his dead body will be preserved and not 
destroyed. 

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you, then ask those who have been 
reading the Scripture before you. The 
truth has certainly come to you from 
your Lord, so never be among the 
doubters. 

95. And never be of those who deny the 
signs of God and [thus] be among the 
losers. 496 

96. Indeed, those upon whom the word 
[i.e., decree] of your Lord has come in- 
to effect will not believe, 



or warners to a people who do not be- 
lieve. 

102. So do they wait except for like [what 
occurred in] the days of those who 
passed on before them? Say, "Then 
wait; indeed, I am with you among 
those who wait." 

103. Then We will save Our messengers and 
those who have believed. Thus, it is an 
obligation upon Us that We save the 
believers. 498 



97. Even if every sign should come to 
them, until they see the painful pu- 
nishment. 

98. Then has there not been a [single] city 
that believed so its faith benefited it ex- 
cept the people of Jonah? When they 
believed, We removed from them the 
punishment of disgrace in worldly life 
and gave them enjoyment [i.e., provi- 
sion! for a time. 



104. Say, [O Muhammad], "O people, if you 
are in doubt as to my religion - then I 
do not worship those which you wor- 
ship besides God; but I worship God, 
who causes your death. And I have 
been commanded to be of the believers 

105. And [commanded], 'Direct your face 
[i.e., self] toward the religion, inclining 
to truth, and never be of those who as- 
sociate others with God; 



99. And had your Lord willed, those on 
earth would have believed - all of them 
entirely. Then, [O Muhammad], would 
you compel the people in order that 
they become believers? 

100. And it is not for a soul [i.e., anyone] to 
believe except by permission of God, 
and He will place defilement 497 upon 
those who will not use reason. 

101. Say, "Observe what is in the heavens 
and earth." But of no avail will be signs 



496 Among the interpretations of the last two 
verses is that they were meant to stir the Prophet 
to declare and confirm his certainty, which he 
did. Another is that although the words are ad- 
dressed to the Prophet, they are directed to all 
people. 

497 Among its meanings are filth, wrath, punish- 
ment, disbelief, confusion and error. 



106. And do not invoke besides God that 
which neither benefits you nor harms 
you, for if you did, then indeed you 
would be of the wrongdoers.' " 4 " 

1 07. And if God should touch you with ad- 
versity, there is no remover of it except 
Him; and if He intends for you good, 
then there is no repeller of His bounty. 
He causes it to reach whom He wills of 
His servants. And He is the Forgiving, 
the Merciful. 

108. Say, "O mankind, the truth has come to 
you from your Lord, so whoever is 
guided is only guided for [the benefit 
of] his soul, and whoever goes astray 



498 p r0 m God's punishment. 

499 See footnote to 10:95. 

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only goes astray [in violation] against it. 
And I am not over you a manager." 

109. And follow what is revealed to you, [O 
Muhammad], and be patient until God 
will judge. And He is the best of judges. 



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Surah 11: Hud 

Period of Revelation 

If we consider its theme deeply we come to the conclusion that it was revealed during the same period as 
Surah Yunus and most probably followed it immediately. 

Subject 

The Surah deals with the same subject as Surah Yunus that is invitation to the Message admonition and 
warning with this difference that the warning is sterner. This is also supported by a hadith: Some time after 
its revelation Abu Bakr noted to the Prophet that he had been noticing that he was growing older and older. 
The Prophet replied, 'Surah Hud and the like Surahs have made me old.' This shows that it was a very hard time 
for the Prophet and these stern warnings added greatly to his anxieties that were caused by the persecution 
from the Quraysh who were doing their worst to crush down the Message of Islam. For it was obvious to 
the Prophet that the last limit of the respite given by God was approaching nearer and nearer and he was 
afraid lest the term of the respite should expire and his people be seized by the torment. The invitation is 
this: Obey the Messenger of God; discard Shirk (polytheism) and worship God and God alone: establish the 
entire system of your life on the belief that you shall be called to account in the Hereafter. 

The admonition is this: Remember that those people who put their faith in the outward appearance of this 
worldly life and rejected the Message of the Prophets met with dire consequences. Therefore you should 
consider it seriously whether you should follow the same way that history has proved to be the path to ruin. 

The warning is this: You should not be deluded by the delay in the coming of the punishment: it is because 
of the respite that God has granted you by His grace so that you might mend your ways: if you do not make 
use of this opportunity you shall be inflicted with an inevitable punishment that will destroy you all except 
the Believers. 

Instead of addressing the people directly, the Qur'an has used the stories of the people of Noah, Hud, Salih, 
Lot, Shu'aib and Moses to achieve the above mentioned objects. What is most prominent in their stories is 
that when God passes His judgement on the people He does not spare anyone whatsoever even if he be the 
nearest relative of the Prophet of the time. Only that one is rescued who had believed in the Prophet and 
none else not even his own son or wife. More than that: the Faith demands from each and every Believer 
that he should totally forget his relationships when that judgement comes and remember only the relation- 
ship of the Faith. For it is against the spirit of Islam to show any regard whatsoever for the relationships of 
blood and race. And the Muslims demonstrated these teachings practically in the Battle of Badr four years 
after the revelation of this Surah. 



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Surah 11: Hud 500 

In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, 
the Most Merciful 

1 . Alif, Lam, Ra. 501 [This is] a Book whose 
verses are perfected and then presented 
in detail from [one who is] Wise and 
Acquainted 

2. [Through a messenger, saying], "Do 
not worship except God. Indeed, I am 
to you from Him a warner and a brin- 
ger of good tidings," 

3. And [saying], "Seek forgiveness of your 
Lord and repent to Him, [and] He will 
let you enjoy a good provision for a 
specified term and give every doer of 
favor his favor [i.e., reward]. But if you 
turn away, then indeed, I fear for you 
the punishment of a great Day. 

4. To God is your return, and He is over 
all things competent." 

5. Unquestionably, they [i.e., the disbe- 
lievers] turn away their breasts to hide 
themselves from Him. Unquestionably, 
[even] when they cover themselves in 
their clothing, He [i.e., God] knows 
what they conceal and what they dec- 
lare. Indeed, He is Knowing of that 
within the breasts. 

6. And there is no creature on earth but 
that upon God is its provision, and He 
knows its place of dwelling and place of 
storage. 502 All is in a clear register. 

7. And it is He who created the heavens 
and the earth in six days - and His 
Throne had been upon water - that He 



10. 



11. 



might test you as to which of you is 
best in deed. But if you say, "Indeed, 
you are resurrected after death," those 
who disbelieve will surely say, "This is 
not but obvious magic." 

And if We hold back from them the 
punishment for a limited time, they will 
surely say, 503 "What detains it?" Un- 
questionably, on the Day it comes to 
them, it will not be averted from them, 
and they will be enveloped by what 
they used to ridicule. 

And if We give man a taste of mercy 
from Us and then We withdraw it from 
him, indeed, he is despairing and un- 
grateful. 

But if We give him a taste of favor after 
hardship has touched him, he will sure- 
ly say, "Bad times have left me." In- 
deed, he is exultant and boastful - 

Except for those who are patient and 
do righteous deeds; those will have for- 
giveness and great reward. 



12. Then would you possibly leave [out] 
some of what is revealed to you, 304 or is 
your breast constrained by it because 
they say, "Why has there not been sent 
down to him a treasure or come with 
him an angel?" But you are only a 
warner. And God is Disposer of all 
things. 

13. Or do they say, "He invented it"? Say, 
"Then bring ten surahs like it that have 
been invented and call upon [for assis- 
tance] whomever you can besides God, 
if you should be truthful." 



500 Hud: (The prophet) Hud. 

501 See footnote to 2:1. 

502 Before birth and after death. 



503 j n ridicule anc j disbelief. 

504 Knowing of the Prophet's difficulties, God 
urges him to patience, certain that he would not 
fail to convey the message in its entirety. 

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14. And if they do not respond to you - 
then know that it [i.e., the Qur'an] was 
revealed with the knowledge of God 505 
and that there is no deity except Him. 
Then, 506 would you [not] be Muslims? 

15. Whoever desires the life of this world 
and its adornments - We fully repay 
them for their deeds therein, 507 and 
they therein will not be deprived. 

16. Those are the ones for whom there is 
not in the Hereafter but the Fire. And 
lost is what they did therein, 508 and 
worthless is what they used to do. 

17. So is one who [stands] upon a clear 
evidence from his Lord [like the afore- 
mentioned]? And a witness 509 from 
Him follows it, 510 and before it was the 
Scripture of Moses to lead and as mer- 
cy. Those [believers in the former reve- 
lations] believe in it [i.e., the Qur'an], 
But whoever disbelieves in it from the 
[various] factions - the Fire is his prom- 
ised destination. So be not in doubt 
about it. Indeed, it is the truth from 
your Lord, but most of the people do 
not believe. 

18. And who is more unjust than he who 
invents a lie about God? Those will be 
presented before their Lord, and the 
witnesses will say, "These are the ones 
who lied against their Lord." Unques- 
tionably, the curse of God is upon the 
wrongdoers 



505 i.e., that knowledge which no one possesses 
except Him. 

506 After having been convinced by such evi- 
dence. 

507 i.e., during worldly life. 

508 i.e., during worldly life. 

509 Referring to Prophet Muhammad or to the 
angel Gabriel. 

510 Testifying to its truth. Additionally, it can 
mean "recites it," i.e., the Qur'an. 



19. Who averted [people] from the way of 
God and sought to make it [seem] de- 
viant while they, concerning the He- 
reafter, were disbelievers. 

20. Those were not causing failure [to 
God] on earth, nor did they have be- 
sides God any protectors. For them the 
punishment will be multiplied. They 
were not able to hear, nor did they 
see. 511 

21. Those are the ones who will have lost 
themselves, and lost from them is what 
they used to invent. 

22. Assuredly, it is they in the Hereafter 
who will be the greatest losers. 

23. Indeed, they who have believed and 
done righteous deeds and humbled 
themselves to their Lord - those are the 
companions of Paradise; they will abide 
eternally therein. 

24. The example of the two parties is like 
the blind and deaf, and the seeing and 
hearing. Are they equal in comparison? 
Then, will you not remember? 

25. And We had certainly sent Noah to his 
people, [saying], "Indeed, I am to you a 
clear warner 

26. That you not worship except God. In- 
deed, I fear for you the punishment of 
a painful day." 

27. So the eminent among those who dis- 
believed from his people said, "We do 
not see you but as a man like ourselves, 
and we do not see you followed except 
by those who are the lowest of us [and] 



511 They refused to listen to the truth or to perce- 
ive it. 

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at first suggestion. 512 And we do not 34. 

see in you over us any merit; rather, we 
think you are liars." 

28. He said, "O my people, have you con- 
sidered: if I should be upon clear evi- 
dence from my Lord while He has giv- 35. 
en me mercy from Himself but it has 

been made unapparent to you, should 
we force it upon you while you are 
averse to it? 

29. And O my people, I ask not of you for 36. 
it any wealth. My reward is not but 

from God. And I am not one to drive 
away those who have believed. Indeed, 
they will meet their Lord, but I see that 
you are a people behaving ignorantly. 

37. 

30. And O my people, who would protect 
me from God if I drove them away? 
Then will you not be reminded? 

31. And I do not tell you that I have the 
depositories [containing the provision] 38. 
of God or that I know the unseen, nor 

do I tell you that I am an angel, nor do 

I say of those upon whom your eyes 

look down that God will never grant 

them any good. God is most knowing 

of what is within their souls. Indeed, I 

would then be among the wrongdoers 39. 

[i.e., the unjust]." 

32. They said, "O Noah, you have disputed 
[i.e., opposed] us and been frequent in 
dispute of us. So bring us what you 
threaten us, if you should be of the 40. 
truthful." 

33. He said, "God will only bring it to you 
if He wills, and you will not cause 
[Him] failure. 



And my advice will not benefit you - 
although I wished to advise you - If 
God should intend to put you in error. 
He is your Lord, and to Him you will 
be returned." 

Or do they say [about Prophet Mu- 
hammad], "He invented it"? Say, "If I 
have invented it, then upon me is [the 
consequence of] my crime; but I am in- 
nocent of what [crimes] you commit." 

And it was revealed to Noah that, "No 
one will believe from your people ex- 
cept those who have already believed, 
so do not be distressed by what they 
have been doing. 

And construct the ship under Our ob- 
servation and Our inspiration and do 
not address Me concerning those who 
have wronged; indeed, they are [to be] 
drowned." 

And he constructed the ship, and 
whenever an assembly of the eminent 
of his people passed by him, they ridi- 
culed him. He said, "If you ridicule us, 
then we will ridicule you just as you ri- 
dicule. 

And you are going to know who will 
get a punishment that will disgrace him 
[on earth] and upon whom will descend 
an enduring punishment [in the Hereaf- 
ter]." 

[So it was], until when Our command 
came and the oven overflowed, 513 We 
said, "Load upon it [i.e., the ship] of 
each [creature] two mates and your 
family, except those about whom the 
word [i.e., decree] has preceded, and 



: i.e., without any thought or hesitation. 



513 As a sign to Noah of the imminence of the 
flood. The tannur is a large, rounded oven. The 
word can also mean the earth's lowlands. 

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[include] whoever has believed." But 
none had believed with him, except a 
few. 

41. And [Noah] said, "Embark therein; in 
the name of God is its course and its 
anchorage. Indeed, my Lord is Forgiv- 
ing and Merciful." 

42. And it sailed with them through waves 
like mountains, and Noah called to his 
son who was apart [from them], "O my 
son, come aboard with us and be not 
with the disbelievers." 

43. [But] he said, "I will take refuge on a 
mountain to protect me from the wa- 
ter." [Noah] said, "There is no protec- 
tor today from the decree of God, ex- 
cept for whom He gives mercy." And 
the waves came between them, and he 
was among the drowned. 

44. And it was said, "O earth, swallow your 
water, and O sky, withhold [your rain]." 
And the water subsided, and the matter 
was accomplished, and it [i.e., the ship] 
came to rest on the [mountain of] Judi- 
yy. And it was said, "Away with the 
wrongdoing people." 

45. And Noah called to his Lord and said, 
"My Lord, indeed my son is of my fam- 
ily; and indeed, Your promise is true; 
and You are the most just of judges!" 

46. He said, "O Noah, indeed he is not of 
your family; indeed, he is [one whose] 
work was other than righteous, so ask 
Me not for that about which you have 
no knowledge. Indeed, I advise you, 
lest you be among the ignorant." 

47. [Noah] said, "My Lord, I seek refuge in 
You from asking that of which I have 
no knowledge. And unless You forgive 



me and have mercy upon me, I will be 
among the losers." 

48. It was said, "O Noah, disembark in 
security from Us and blessings upon 
you and upon nations [descending] 
from those with you. But other nations 
[of them] We will grant enjoyment; 
then there will touch them from Us a 
painful punishment." 

49. That is from the news of the unseen 
which We reveal to you, [O Muham- 
mad] . You knew it not, neither you nor 
your people, before this. So be patient; 
indeed, the [best] outcome is for the 
righteous. 

50. And to Aad [We sent] their brother 
Hud. He said, "O my people, worship 
God; you have no deity other than 
Him. You are not but inventors [of 
falsehood]. 

51. O my people, I do not ask you for it 
[i.e., my advice] any reward. My reward 
is only from the one who created me. 
Then will you not reason? 

52. And O my people, ask forgiveness of 
your Lord and then repent to Him. He 
will send [rain from] the sky upon you 
in showers and increase you in strength 
[added] to your strength. And do not 
turn away, [being] criminals." 

53. They said, "O Hud, you have not 
brought us clear evidence, and we are 
not ones to leave our gods on your say- 
so. Nor are we believers in you. 

54. We only say that some of our gods 
have possessed you with evil [i.e., in- 
sanity]." He said, "Indeed, I call God to 
witness, and witness [yourselves] that I 
am free from whatever you associate 
with God 



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55. Other than Him. So plot against me all 
together; then do not give me respite. 

56. Indeed, I have relied upon God, my 
Lord and your Lord. There is no crea- 
ture but that He holds its forelock [i.e., 
controls it]. Indeed, my Lord is on a 
path [that is] straight." 

57. But if they turn away, [say], "I have 
already conveyed that with which I was 
sent to you. My Lord will give succes- 
sion to a people other than you, and 
you will not harm Him at all. Indeed 
my Lord is, over all things, Guardian." 

58. And when Our command came, We 
saved Hud and those who believed 
with him, by mercy from Us; and We 
saved them from a harsh punishment. 

59. And that was Aad, who rejected the 
signs of their Lord and disobeyed His 
messengers and followed the order of 
every obstinate tyrant. 

60. And they were [therefore] followed in 
this world with a curse and [as well] on 
the Day of Resurrection. Unquestiona- 
bly, Aad denied their Lord; then away 
with Aad, the people of Hud. 

61. And to Thamud [We sent] their brother 
Salih. He said, "O my people, worship 
God; you have no deity other than 
Him. He has produced you from the 
earth and setded you in it, so ask for- 
giveness of Him and then repent to 
Him. Indeed, my Lord is near and res- 
ponsive." 

62. They said, "O Salih, you were among 
us a man of promise before this. Do 
you forbid us to worship what our fa- 
thers worshipped? And indeed we are, 
about that to which you invite us, in 
disquieting doubt." 



63. He said, "O my people, have you con- 
sidered: if I should be upon clear evi- 
dence from my Lord and He has given 
me mercy from Himself, who would 
protect me from God if I disobeyed 
Him? So you would not increase me 
except in loss. 

64. And O my people, this is the she-camel 
of God - [she is] to you a sign. So let 
her feed upon God's earth and do not 
touch her with harm, or you will be 
taken by an impending punishment." 

65. But they hamstrung her, so he said, 
"Enjoy yourselves in your homes for 
three days. That is a promise not to be 
denied [i.e., unfailing]." 

66. So when Our command came, We 
saved Salih and those who believed 
with him, by mercy from Us, and 
[saved them] from the disgrace of that 
day. 514 Indeed, it is your Lord who is 
the Powerful, the Exalted in Might. 

67. And the shriek 515 seized those who had 
wronged, and they became within their 
homes [corpses] fallen prone 

68. As if they had never prospered therein. 
Unquestionably, Thamud denied their 
Lord; then, away with Thamud. 

69. And certainly did Our messengers [i.e., 
angels] come to Abraham with good 
tidings; they said, "Peace." He said, 
"Peace," and did not delay in bringing 
[them] a roasted calf. 

70. But when he saw their hands not reach- 
ing for it, he distrusted them and felt 



514 -j^g jj a y of Thamud's destruction. 

515 A piercing cry or blast from the sky. 

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from them apprehension. 516 They said, 
"Fear not. We have been sent to the 
people of Lot." 

71. And his wife was standing, and she 
smiled. 517 Then We gave her good tid- 
ings of Isaac and after Isaac, Jacob. 

72. She said, "Woe to me! 518 Shall I give 
birth while I am an old woman and 
this, my husband, is an old man? In- 
deed, this is an amazing thing!" 

73. They said, "Are you amazed at the de- 
cree of God? May the mercy of God 
and His blessings be upon you, people 
of the house. Indeed, He is Praisewor- 
thy and Honourable." 

74. And when the fright had left Abraham 
and the good tidings had reached him, 
he began to argue [i.e., plead] with Us 519 
concerning the people of Lot. 

75. Indeed, Abraham was forbearing, griev- 
ing 520 and [frequendy] returning [to 
God]. 

76. [The angels said], "O Abraham, give up 
this [plea]. Indeed, the command of 
your Lord has come, and indeed, there 
will reach them a punishment that can- 
not be repelled." 

77. And when Our messengers, [the an- 
gels], came to Lot, he was anguished 
for them and felt for them great dis- 



516 Traditionally, if a guest refused to eat, it meant 
that he harboured ill will toward the host or in- 
tended him harm. 

517 In pleasure at the news of the forthcoming 
punishment of the evil people who denied 
Prophet Lot. 

518 An expression of surprise and amazement. 

519 i.e., with Our angels. 

520 i.e., sighting or moaning during supplication 
out of grief for people and fear of God. 



comfort 521 and said, "This is a trying 
day." 

78. And his people came hastening to him, 
and before [this] they had been doing 
evil deeds. 522 He said, "O my people, 
these are my daughters; 523 they are pur- 
er for you. So fear God and do not dis- 
grace me concerning my guests. Is 
there not among you a man of reason?" 

79. They said, "You have already known 
that we have not concerning your 
daughters [i.e., women] any claim [i.e., 
desire], and indeed, you know what we 
want." 

80. He said, "If only I had against you 
some power or could take refuge in a 
strong support." 

81. They [the angels] said, "O Lot, indeed 
we are messengers of your Lord; [there- 
fore], they will never reach you. So set 
out with your family during a portion 
of the night 524 and let not any among 
you look back - except your wife; in- 
deed, she will be struck by that which 
strikes them. Indeed, their appointment 
is [for] the morning. Is not the morning 
near?" 

82. So when Our command came, We 
made the highest part [of the city] its 
lowest and rained upon them stones of 
layered hard clay, [which were] 

83. Marked from your Lord. And it [i.e., 
God's punishment] is not from the 
wrongdoers [very] far. 

521 Prophet Lot feared for the safety and honour 
of his guests. 

522 Referring to their practice of sodomy and ho- 
mosexual rape of males. 

523 i.e., the woman of his community who were 
available for marriage. 

524 i.e., sometime before dawn. 

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84. And to Madyan [We sent] their brother 
Shu'ayb. He said, "O my people, wor- 
ship God; you have no deity other than 
Him. And do not decrease from the 
measure and the scale. Indeed, I see 
you in prosperity, but indeed, I fear for 
you the punishment of an all- 
encompassing Day. 

85. And O my people, give full measure 
and weight in justice and do not de- 
prive the people of their due and do 
not commit abuse on the earth, spread- 
ing corruption. 



people of Noah or the people of Hud 
or the people of Salih. And the people 
of Lot are not from you far away. 

90. And ask forgiveness of your Lord and 
then repent to Him. Indeed, my Lord is 
Merciful and Affectionate." 

91. They said, "O Shu'ayb, we do not un- 
derstand much of what you say, and in- 
deed, we consider you among us as 
weak. And if not for your family, we 
would have stoned you [to death]; and 
you are not to us one respected." 



86. 



87. 



89. 



What remains Pawful] from God is best 
for you, if you would be believers. But I 
am not a guardian over you." 



92. 



"O Shu'ayb, does your 
religion] command you that 



They said 
prayer [i.e., 
we should leave what our fathers wor- 
ship or not do with our wealth what we 
please? Indeed, you are the forbearing, 
the discerning!" 525 

He said, "O my people, have you con- 
sidered: if I am upon clear evidence 
from my Lord and He has provided me 
with a good provision from Him...? 526 
And I do not intend to differ from you 
in that which I have forbidden you; I 
only intend reform as much as I am 
able. And my success is not but 
through God. Upon Him I have relied, 
and to Him I return. 527 

And O my people, let not [your] dis- 
sension from me cause you to be struck 
by that similar to what struck the 



525 This is a sarcastic description implying the 
opposite. 

526 The conclusion of the sentence is estimated as 
"...would it not be my duty to warn you against 
corruption and disobedience?" 

527 i.e., I turn to God frequently in supplication 
and repentance. 



93. 



94. 



95. 



96. 



97. 



He said, "O my people, is my family 
more respected for power by you than 
God? But you put Him behind your 
backs [in neglect]. Indeed, my Lord is 
encompassing of what you do. 

And O my people, work according to 
your position; indeed, I am working. 
You are going to know to whom will 
come a punishment that will disgrace 
him and who is a liar. So watch; indeed, 
I am with you a watcher, [awaiting the 
outcome]." 

And when Our command came, We 
saved Shu'ayb and those who believed 
with him, by mercy from Us. And the 
shriek seized those who had wronged, 
and they became within their homes 
[corpses] fallen prone 

As if they had never prospered therein. 
Then, away with Madyan as Thamud 
was taken away. 

And We did certainly send Moses with 
Our signs and a clear authority 

To Pharaoh and his establishment, but 
they followed the command of Pha- 
raoh, and the command of Pharaoh 
was not [at all] discerning. 



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98. He will precede his people on the Day 
of Resurrection and lead them into the 
Fire; and wretched is the place to which 
they are led. 

99. And they were followed in this [world] 
with a curse and on the Day of Resur- 
rection. And wretched is the gift 528 
which is given. 

100. That is from the news of the cities, 
which We relate to you; of them, some 
are [still] standing and some are [as] a 
harvest [mowed down] , 529 

101. And We did not wrong them, but they 
wronged themselves. And they were 
not availed at all by their gods which 
they invoked other than God when 
there came the command of your Lord. 
And they did not increase them in oth- 
er than ruin. 

102. And thus is the sei2ure of your Lord 
when He seizes the cities while they are 
committing wrong. Indeed, His seizure 
is painful and severe. 

103. Indeed in that is a sign for those who 
fear the punishment of the Hereafter. 
That is a Day for which the people will 
be collected, and that is a Day [which 
will be] witnessed. 

104. And We do not delay it except for a 
limited term. 

105. The Day it comes no soul will speak 
except by His permission. And among 
them will be the wretched and the 
prosperous. 



106. As for those who were [destined to be] 
wretched, they will be in the Fire. For 
them therein is [violent] exhaling and 
inhaling. 530 

1 07. [They will be] abiding therein as long as 
the heavens and the earth endure, ex- 
cept what your Lord should will. In- 
deed, your Lord is an effecter of what 
He intends. 

108. And as for those who were [destined to 
be] prosperous, they will be in Paradise, 
abiding therein as long as the heavens 
and the earth endure, except what your 
Lord should will - a bestowal uninter- 
rupted. 

109. So do not be in doubt, [O Muham- 
mad], as to what these [polytheists] are 
worshipping. They worship not except 
as their fathers worshipped before. And 
indeed, We will give them their share 
undiminished. 

110. And We had certainly given Moses the 
Scripture, but it came under disagree- 
ment. And if not for a word 531 that pre- 
ceded from your Lord, it would have 
been judged between them. And indeed 
they are, concerning it [i.e., the Qur'an], 
in disquieting doubt. 

111. And indeed, each [of the believers and 
disbelievers] - your Lord will fully 
compensate them for their deeds. In- 
deed, He is Acquainted with what they 
do. 

112. So remain on a right course as you have 
been commanded, [you] and those who 
have turned back with you [to God], 



528 i.e., the curse which follows them in both 
worlds. 

529 Their structures have been completely de- 
stroyed. 



530 i.e., their sighs and sobs, resembling the bray 
of a donkey. 

531 See footnote to 10:19. 

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and do not transgress. Indeed, He is 
Seeing of what you do. 

113. And do not incline toward those who 
do wrong, lest you be touched by the 
Fire, and you would not have other 
than God any protectors; then you 
would not be helped. 

114. And establish prayer at the two ends of 
the day and at the approach of the 
night. Indeed, good deeds do away with 
misdeeds. That is a reminder for those 
who remember. 

115. And be patient, for indeed, God does 
not allow to be lost the reward of those 
who do good. 

116. So why were there not 532 among the 
generations before you those of endur- 
ing discrimination forbidding corrup- 
tion on earth - except a few of those 
We saved from among them? But those 
who wronged pursued what luxury they 
were given therein, and they were crim- 
inals. 



there has come to you, in this, the truth 
and an instruction and a reminder for 
the believers. 

121. And say to those who do not believe, 
"Work according to your position; in- 
deed, we are working. 

122. And wait, indeed, we are waiting." 

123. And to God belong the unseen [as- 
pects] of the heavens and the earth and 
to Him will be returned the matter, all 
of it, so worship Him and rely upon 
Him. And your Lord is not unaware of 
that which you do. 



117. And your Lord would not have de- 
stroyed the cities unjustly while their 
people were reformers. 

118. And if your Lord had willed, He could 
have made mankind one community; 
but they will not cease to differ, 

119. Except whom your Lord has given 
mercy, and for that He created them. 
But the word of your Lord is to be ful- 
filled that, "I will surely fill Hell with 
jinn and men all together." 

120. And each [story] We relate to you from 
the news of the messengers is that by 
which We make firm your heart. And 



532 Meaning "if only there had been. 



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Surah 12: Yusuf 

When and Why Revealed? 

The subject matter of this Surah indicates that it was revealed during the last stage of the Prophet's residence 
at Makkah when the Quraysh were considering the question of killing or exiling or imprisoning him. At that 
time some of the disbelievers put this question to test him: "Why did the Israelites go to Egypt?" This ques- 
tion was asked because they knew that their story was not known to the Arabs for there was no mention of it 
whatever in their traditions and the Prophet had never even referred to it before. Therefore they expected 
that he would not be able to give any satisfactory answer to this question or would first evade it and after- 
wards try to enquire about it from some Jew and thus he would be totally exposed. But contrary to their ex- 
pectations the tables were turned on them for God revealed the whole story of Prophet Joseph then and 
there and the Prophet recited it on the spot. This put the Quraysh in a very awkward position because it not 
only foiled their scheme but also administered a warning to them by appropriately applying it to their case as 
if to say As you are behaving towards this Prophet exactly in the same way the brothers of Prophet Joseph 
behaved towards him; so you shall meet with the same end.' 

The fact is that by applying this story to the conflict the Qur'an had made a bold and clear prophecy which 
was fulfilled literally by the events that happened in the succeeding ten years. Hardly two years had passed 
after its revelation when the Quraysh conspired to kill the Prophet like the brothers of Prophet Joseph and 
he had to emigrate from Makkah to Madinah where he gained the same kind of power as Prophet Joseph 
had gained in Egypt. Again in the end the Quraysh had to humble themselves before him just like the broth- 
ers of Prophet Joseph when they humbly requested 'Show mercy to us for God rewards richly those who 
show mercy' (v. 88) and Prophet Joseph generously forgave them (though he had complete power to wreak 
vengeance on them) saying today no penalty shall be inflicted on you. May God forgive you: He is the great- 
est of all those who forgive (v. 92). The same story of mercy was repeated when after the conquest of Mak- 
kah the crest fallen Quraysh stood meekly before the Prophet who had full power to wreak his vengeance on 
them for each and every cruelty committed by them. But instead he merely asked them 'What treatment do 
you expect from me now?' They replied "You are a generous brother and the son of a generous brother. At 
this he very generously forgave them saying I will give the same answer to your request that Joseph gave to 
his brothers: '. . . today no penalty shall be inflicted on you: you are forgiven.' 

Topics of Discussion 

Moreover the Qur'an does not relate this story as a mere narrative but uses it as usual for the propagation of 
the Message in the following ways: 

Throughout the narrative the Qur'an has made it clear that the Faith of Prophets Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and 
Joseph (God's peace be upon them all) was the same as that of Prophet Muhammad and they invited the 
people to the same Message to which Muhammad was inviting them. 

Then it places the characters of Prophet Jacob and Prophet Joseph side by side with the characters of the 
brothers of Joseph, the members of the trade caravan the court dignitary; Al Aziz of Egypt and his wife the 
"ladies" of Egypt and the rulers of Egypt and poses a silent question to the reader as if to say 'Contrast the 
former characters moulded by Islam on the bedrock of the worship of God and accountability in the Hereaf- 
ter with the latter moulded by kufr and ignorance' on the worship of the world and disregard of God and the 
Hereafter and decide for yourselves which of these two patterns you would choose." 

The Qur'an has used this story to bring forth another truth: whatever God wills He fulfils it anyhow and 
man can never defeat His plan with his counterplans nor prevent it from happening nor change it in any way 
whatever. Nay, it often so happens that man adopts some measure to fulfil his own design and believes that 

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he has done that very thing which would fulfil his design but in the end he finds to his dismay that he had 
done something which was against his own and conducive to the Divine purpose. When the brothers of 
Prophet Joseph cast him into the well they believed that they had once for all got rid of the obstacle in their 
way but in fact they had paved the way for the Divine purpose of making him the ruler of Egypt before 
whom they would have to humble themselves in the end. Likewise the wife of Aziz had sent Prophet Joseph 
to the prison floating over the thought that she had wreaked her vengeance on him but in fact she had pro- 
vided for him the opportunity for becoming the ruler of Egypt and for putting herself to the shame of con- 
fessing her own sin publicly. 

And these are not the solitary instances which prove the truth that even if the whole world united to bring 
about the down fall of the one whom God willed to raise high it could not succeed. Nay, the very "sure and 
effective" measures that were adopted by the brothers to degrade Joseph were used by God for the success 
of Joseph and for the humiliation and disgrace of his brothers. On the other hand if God willed the fall of 
one no measure whatsoever effective could raise him high: nay, it helped to bring about his fall and the dis- 
grace of those who adopted them. 

Moreover the story contains other lessons for those who intend to follow the way of God. The first lesson it 
teaches is that one should remain within the limits prescribed by the Divine Law in one's aims and objects 
and measures for success and failure are entirely in the hands of God. Therefore if one adopts pure aims and 
lawful measures but fails at least one will escape humiliation and disgrace. On the other hand the one who 
adopts an impure aim and unlawful measures to achieve it shall not only inevitably meet with ignominy and 
disgrace in the Hereafter but also runs the risk of ignominy and disgrace in this world. 

The second lesson it teaches is that those who exert for the cause of truth and righteousness and put their 
trust in God and entrust all their affairs to Him, get consolation and comfort from Him. For this helps them 
face their opponents with confidence and courage and they do not lose heart when they encounter the ap- 
parently terrifying measures of the powerful enemies. They will persevere in their task without fear and leave 
the results to God. 

But the greatest lesson this story teaches is that if the Believer possesses true Islamic character and is en- 
dowed with wisdom, he can conquer a whole country with the strength of his character alone. The marvel- 
ous example of Prophet Joseph teaches us that a man of high and pure character comes out successful even 
under the most adverse circumstances. When Prophet Joseph went to Egypt, he was only a teenager of se- 
venteen years, a foreigner, all alone and without any provisions; nay, he had been sold there as a slave. And 
the horrible condition of the slaves during that period is known to every student of history. Then he was 
charged with a heinous moral crime and sent to prison for an indefinite term. But throughout this period of 
affliction, he evinced the highest moral qualities which raised him to the highest rank in the country. 

Final Note 

Though the story of Prophet Joseph as given in the Qur'an differs very much in its details from that given in 
the Bible and the Talmud, the three generally agree in the key events. 



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Surah 12: Yusuf 33 

In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, 
the Most Merciful 



When they said, "Joseph and his broth- 
er 537 are more beloved to our father 
than we, while we are a clan. Indeed, 
our father is in clear error. 



1. Alif, Lam, Ra. 534 These are the verses of 9. 
the clear Book. 

2. Indeed, We have sent it down as an 
Arabic Qur'an 535 that you might under- 
stand. 



We relate to you, [O Muhammad], the 
best of stories in what We have re- 
vealed to you of this Qur'an although 
you were, before it, among the una- 
ware. 

[Of these stories mention] when Joseph 
said to his father, 536 "O my father, in- 
deed I have seen [in a dream] eleven 
stars and the sun and the moon; I saw 
them prostrating to me." 

He said, "O my son, do not relate your 
vision to your brothers or they will 
contrive against you a plan. Indeed Sa- 
tan, to man, is a manifest enemy. 

And thus will your Lord choose you 
and teach you the interpretation of 
narratives [i.e., events of dreams] and 
complete His favor upon you and upon 
the family of Jacob, as He completed it 
upon your fathers before, Abraham and 
Isaac. Indeed, your Lord is Knowing 
and Wise." 

Certainly were there in Joseph and his 
brothers signs for those who ask, [such 
as] 



533 Yusuf, (The Prophet) Joseph. 

534 See footnote to 2:1. 

535 i.e., revealed in the Arabic language. 

536 The Prophet Jacob. 



10. 



11. 



12. 



13. 



14. 



15. 



16. 



Kill Joseph or cast him out to [another] 
land; the countenance [i.e., attention] of 
your father will [then] be only for you, 
and you will be after that a righteous 
people." 538 

Said a speaker among them, "Do not 
kill Joseph but throw him into the bot- 
tom of the well; some travelers will pick 
him up - if you would do [something]." 

They said, "O our father, why do you 
not entrust us with Joseph while in- 
deed, we are to him sincere counselors? 

Send him with us tomorrow that he 
may eat well and play. And indeed, we 
will be his guardians." 

[Jacob] said, "Indeed, it saddens me 
that you should take him, and I fear 
that a wolf would eat him while you are 
of him unaware." 

They said, "If a wolf should eat him 
while we are a [strong] clan, indeed, we 
would then be losers." 

So when they took him [out] and 
agreed to put him into the bottom of 
the well... 539 But We inspired to him, 
"You will surely inform them [some- 
day] about this affair of theirs while 
they do not perceive [your identity]." 

And they came to their father at night, 
weeping. 



537 Benjamin, who was born of the same mother 
as Joseph. 

538 i.e., You can repent thereafter. 

539 The conclusion of this sentence is estimated to 
be ". . .they tormented him." 

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17. They said, "O our father, indeed we 
went racing each other and left Joseph 
with our possessions, and a wolf ate 
him. But you would not believe us, 
even if we were truthful." 

18. And they brought upon his shirt false 
blood. 540 [Jacob] said, "Rather, your 
souls have enticed you to something, so 
patience is most fitting. And God is the 
one sought for help against that which 
you describe." 

19. And there came a company of travelers; 
then they sent their water drawer, and 
he let down his bucket. He said, "Good 
news! Here is a boy." And they con- 
cealed him, [taking him] as merchan- 
dise; 541 and God was knowing of what 
they did. 

20. And they sold him for a reduced price - 
a few dirhams - and they were, con- 
cerning him, of those content with lit- 
tle. 

21. And the one from Egypt 542 who bought 
him said to his wife, "Make his resi- 
dence comfortable. Perhaps he will 
benefit us, or we will adopt him as a 
son." And thus, We established Joseph 
in the land that We might teach him the 
interpretation of events [i.e., dreams]. 
And God is predominant over His af- 
fair, but most of the people do not 
know. 

22. And when he [i.e., Joseph] reached ma- 
turity, We gave him judgment and 
knowledge. And thus We reward the 
doers of good. 

540 They had stained Joseph's shirt with the blood 
of a lamb but had forgotten to tear it, thereby 
arousing their father's suspicion. 

541 To be sold as a slave. 

542 The minister in charge of supplies, whose title 
was al-'Azeez. 



23. And she, in whose house he was, 
sought to seduce him. She closed the 
doors and said, "Come, you." He said, 
"[I seek] the refuge of God. Indeed, 
he 543 is my master, who has made good 
my residence. Indeed, wrongdoers will 
not succeed." 

24. And she certainly determined [to se- 
duce] him, and he would have inclined 
to her had he not seen the proof [i.e., 
sign] of his Lord. And thus [it was] that 
We should avert from him evil and 
immorality. Indeed, he was of Our cho- 
sen servants. 

25. And they both raced to the door, and 
she tore his shirt from the back, and 
they found her husband at the door. 
She said, "What is the recompense of 
one who intended evil for your wife but 
that he be imprisoned or a painful pu- 
nishment?" 

26. [Joseph] said, "It was she who sought 
to seduce me." And a witness from her 
family testified, "If his shirt is torn 
from the front, then she has told the 
truth, and he is of the liars. 

27. But if his shirt is torn from the back, 
then she has lied, and he is of the truth- 
ful." 

28. So when he [i.e., her husband] saw his 
shirt torn from the back, he said, "In- 
deed, it is of your [i.e., women's] plan. 
Indeed, your plan is great [i.e., vehe- 
ment] . 

29. Joseph, ignore this. 544 And, [my wife], 
ask forgiveness for your sin. Indeed, 
you were of the sinful." 



543 Her husband, al-'Azeez. 



conceal it and act as if it had not taken 



place. 

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30. And women in the city said, "The wife 
of al-'A2ee2 is seeking to seduce her 
slave boy; he has impassioned her with 
love. Indeed, we see her [to be] in clear 
error." 

31. So when she heard of their scheming, 
she sent for them and prepared for 
them a banquet and gave each one of 
them a knife and said [to Joseph], 
"Come out before them." And when 
they saw him, they gready admired him 
and cut their hands 545 and said, "Perfect 
is God! 546 This is not a man; this is 
none but a noble angel." 

32. She said, "That is the one about whom 
you blamed me. And I certainly sought 
to seduce him, but he firmly refused; 
and if he will not do what I order him, 
he will surely be imprisoned and will be 
of those debased." 

33. He said, "My Lord, prison is more to 
my liking than that to which they invite 
me. And if You do not avert from me 
their plan, I might incline toward them 
and [thus] be of the ignorant." 

34. So his Lord responded to him and 
averted from him their plan. Indeed, 
He is the Hearing, the Knowing. 

35. Then it appeared to them after they had 
seen the signs 547 that he [i.e., al-A2ee2] 
should surely imprison him for a 

time. 548 

36. And there entered the prison with him 
two young men. One of them said, 
"Indeed, I have seen myself [in a 
dream] pressing wine." The other said, 
"Indeed, I have seen myself carrying 

545 So distracted were they at the sight of him. 

546 In His ability to create such beauty. 

547 p roo f s f hi s innocence. 

548 Until the scandal be forgotten. 



upon my head [some] bread, from 
which the birds were eating. Inform us 
of its interpretation; indeed, we see you 
to be of those who do good." 

37. He said, 'You will not receive food that 
is provided to you except that I will in- 
form you of its interpretation before it 
comes to you. That is from what my 
Lord has taught me. Indeed, I have left 
the religion of a people who do not be- 
lieve in God, and they, in the Hereafter, 
are disbelievers. 

38. And I have followed the religion of my 
fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And 
it was not for us to associate anything 
with God. That is from the favor of 
God upon us and upon the people, but 
most of the people are not grateful. 

39. O [my] two companions of prison, are 
separate lords better or God, the One, 
the Prevailing? 

40. You worship not besides Him except 
[mere] names you have named them, 549 
you and your fathers, for which God 
has sent down no authority. Legislation 
is not but for God. He has commanded 
that you worship not except Him. That 
is the correct religion, but most of the 
people do not know. 

41. O two companions of prison, as for 
one of you, he will give drink to his 
master of wine; but as for the other, he 
will be crucified, and the birds will eat 
from his head. The matter has been de- 
creed about which you both inquire." 

42. And he said to the one whom he knew 
would go free, "Mention me before 
your master." But Satan made him for- 



549 The false objects of worship which you have 
called "gods". 

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get the mention [to] his master, and he 
[i.e., Joseph] remained in prison several 
years. 

43. And [subsequendy] the king said, "In- 
deed, I have seen [in a dream] seven fat 
cows being eaten by seven [that were] 
lean, and seven green spikes [of grain] 
and others [that were] dry. O eminent 
ones, explain to me my vision, if you 
should interpret visions." 

44. They said, "[It is but] a mixture of false 
dreams, and we are not learned in the 
interpretation of dreams." 

45. But the one who was freed and re- 
membered after a time said, "I will in- 
form you of its interpretation, so send 
me forth." 

46. [He said], "Joseph, O man of truth, 
explain to us about seven fat cows ea- 
ten by seven [that were] lean, and seven 
green spikes [of grain] and others [that 
were] dry - that I may return to the 
people [i.e., the king and his court]; 
perhaps they will know [about you]." 

47. [Joseph] said, "You will plant for seven 
years consecutively; and what you harv- 
est leave in its spikes, except a little 
from which you will eat. 

48. Then will come after that seven diffi- 
cult [years] which will consume what 
you advanced [i.e., saved] for them, ex- 
cept a little from which you will store. 

49. Then will come after that a year in 
which the people will be given rain and 
in which they will press [olives and 
grapes]." 

50. And the king said, "Bring him to me." 
But when the messenger came to him, 
[Joseph] said, "Return to your master 



and ask him what is the case of the 
women who cut their hands. Indeed, 
my Lord is Knowing of their plan." 

51. Said [the king to the women], "What 
was your condition when you sought to 
seduce Joseph?" They said, "Perfect is 
God! 550 We know about him no evil." 
The wife of al-'Azeez said, "Now the 
truth has become evident. It was I who 
sought to seduce him, and indeed, he is 
of the truthful. 

52. That is so he [i.e., al-Azeez] will know 
that I did not betray him in [his] ab- 
sence and that God does not guide the 
plan of betrayers. 

53. And I do not acquit myself. Indeed, the 
soul is a persistent enjoiner of evil, ex- 
cept those upon which my Lord has 
mercy. Indeed, my Lord is Forgiving 
and Merciful." 551 

54. And the king said, "Bring him to me; I 
will appoint him exclusively for my- 
self." And when he spoke to him, he 
said, "Indeed, you are today established 
[in position] and trusted." 

55. [Joseph] said, "Appoint me over the 
storehouses of the land. Indeed, I will 
be a knowing guardian." 

56. And thus We established Joseph in the 
land to settle therein wherever he 
willed. We touch with Our mercy 
whom We will, and We do not allow to 
be lost the reward of those who do 
good. 

550 In His ability to create such purity of charac- 
ter. 

551 Although Ibn Katheer attributes the words of 
verses 52-53 to the wife of al-'Azeez, others have 
concluded that they were spoken by Joseph, the- 
reby justifying his request for an inquiry and ac- 
knowledging God's mercy to him. 

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57. 



58. 



59. 



60. 



And the reward of the Hereafter is bet- 
ter for those who believed and were 
fearing God. 

And the brothers of Joseph came [seek- 
ing food], and they entered upon him; 
and he recogni2ed them, but he was to 
them unknown. 552 

And when he had furnished them with 
their supplies, he said, "Bring me a 
brother of yours from your father. 553 
Do not you see that I give full measure 
and that I am the best of accommoda- 
tors? 

But if you do not bring him to me, no 
measure will there be [hereafter] for 
you from me, nor will you approach 
me." 



61. They said, "We will attempt to dissuade 
his father from [keeping] him, and in- 
deed, we will do [it]." 

62. And [Joseph] said to his servants, "Put 
their merchandise 554 into their saddle- 
bags so they might recogni2e it when 
they have gone back to their people 
that perhaps they will [again] return." 

63. So when they returned to their father, 
they said, "O our father, [further] 
measure has been denied to us, so send 
with us our brother [that] we will be 
given measure. And indeed, we will be 
his guardians." 

64. He said, "Should I entrust you with 
him except [under coercion] as I en- 
trusted you with his brother before? 

552 Due to the change in his appearance over the 
years. 

553 i.e., Benjamin, who had been kept at home by 
his father Jacob. 

554 Thg g OOC J s w hich they had brought to trade 
for food supplies. 



But God is the best guardian, and He is 
the most merciful of the merciful." 

65. And when they opened their baggage, 
they found their merchandise returned 
to them. They said, "O our father, what 
[more] could we desire? This is our 
merchandise returned to us. And we 
will obtain supplies [i.e., food] for our 
family and protect our brother and ob- 
tain an increase of a camel's load; that 
is an easy measurement." 555 

66. [Jacob] said, "Never will I send him 
with you until you give me a promise 
[i.e., oath] by God that you will bring 
him [back] to me, unless you should be 
surrounded [i.e., overcome by ene- 
mies]." And when they had given their 
promise, he said, "God, over what we 
say, is Witness." 

67. And he said, "O my sons, do not enter 
from one gate but enter from different 
gates; and I cannot avail you against 
[the decree of] God at all. The decision 
is only for God; upon Him I have re- 
lied, and upon Him let those who 
would rely [indeed] rely." 

68. And when they entered from where 
their father had ordered them, it did 
not avail them against God at all except 
[it was] a need [i.e., concern] within the 
soul of Jacob, which he satisfied. And 
indeed, he was a possessor of know- 
ledge because of what We had taught 
him, but most of the people do not 
know. 

69. And when they entered upon Joseph, 
he took his brother to himself; he said, 
"Indeed, I am your brother, so do not 
despair over what they used to do [to 
me]." 



555 For them. Or one obtained by us with ease. 

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70. So when he had furnished them with 
their supplies, he put the [gold measur- 
ing] bowl into the bag of his brother. 
Then an announcer called out, "O ca- 
ravan, indeed you are thieves." 

71. They said while approaching them, 
"What is it you are missing?" 

72. They said, "We are missing the measure 
of the king. And for he who produces it 
is [the reward of] a camel's load, and I 
am responsible for it." 

73. They said, "By God, you have certainly 
known that we did not come to cause 
corruption in the land, and we have not 
been thieves." 

74. They [the accusers] said, "Then what 
would be its recompense 356 if you 
should be liars?" 

75. [The brothers] said, "Its recompense is 
that he in whose bag it is found - he 
[himself] will be its recompense. 557 
Thus do we recompense the wrong- 
doers." 

76. So he began [the search] with their bags 
before the bag of his brother; then he 
extracted it from the bag of his brother. 
Thus did We plan for Joseph. He could 
not have taken his brother within the 
religion [i.e., law] of the king except 
that God willed. We raise in degrees 
whom We will, but over every posses- 
sor of knowledge is one [more] know- 
ing. 558 

77. They said, "If he steals - a brother of 
his has stolen before." But Joseph kept 

556 'phg punishment for theft. 

557 According to their law, a convicted thief was 
made a slave of the one from whom he had sto- 
len. 

558 Ending with the ultimate knowledge of God. 



78. 



79. 



80. 



81. 



82. 



83. 



it within himself and did not reveal it to 
them. 559 He said, "You are worse in po- 
sition, and God is most knowing of 
what you describe." 

They said, "O Azeez, 560 indeed he has 
a father [who is] an old man, so take 
one of us in place of him. Indeed, we 
see you as a doer of good." 

He said, "[I seek] the refuge of God [to 
prevent] that we take except him with 
whom we found our possession. In- 
deed, we would then be unjust." 

So when they had despaired of him, 
they secluded themselves in private 
consultation. The eldest of them said, 
"Do you not know that your father has 
taken upon you an oath by God and 
[that] before you failed in [your duty to] 
Joseph? So I will never leave [this] land 
until my father permits me or God de- 
cides for me, 561 and He is the best of 
judges. 

Return to your father and say, 'O our 
father, indeed your son has stolen, and 
we did not testify except to what we 
knew. And we were not witnesses of 
the unseen. 562 

And ask the city in which we were and 
the caravan in which we came - and in- 
deed, we are truthful,' " 

[Jacob] said, "Rather, your souls have 

mtmrA iron f-n cnrnpt-Kmn- Co nitlpnrp 1c 



enticed you to something, so patience 



is 



559 He did not answer that he himself had been 
stolen by them from his father. 

560 Addressing Joseph, who now held the title of 
"al-'Azeez." 

561 i.e., in my favour by bringing about the release 
of Benjamin. 

562 i.e., We could not have known when we gave 
you the oath that he would steal and be appre- 
hended. 

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84. 



85. 



most fitting. Perhaps God will bring 
them to me all together. Indeed, it is 
He who is the Knowing, the Wise." 

And he turned away from them and 
said, "Oh, my sorrow over Joseph," 
and his eyes became white 563 from 
grief, for he was [of that] a suppres- 



sor. 



.SM 



They said, "By God, you will not cease 
remembering Joseph until you become 
fatally ill or become of those who pe- 
rish." 



86. He said, "I only complain of my suffer- 
ing and my grief to God, and I know 
from God that which you do not know. 

87. O my sons, go and find out about Jo- 
seph and his brother and despair not of 
relief from God. Indeed, no one des- 
pairs of relief from God except the dis- 
believing people." 



to be lost the reward of those who do 
good." 

91. They said, "By God, certainly has God 
preferred you over us, and indeed, we 
have been sinners." 

92. He said, "No blame will there be upon 
you today. God will forgive you; and 
He is the most merciful of the merciful. 

93. Take this, my shirt, and cast it over the 
face of my father; he will become see- 
ing. And bring me your family, all to- 
gether." 

94. And when the caravan departed [from 
Egypt], their father said, 565 "Indeed, I 
find the smell of Joseph [and would say 
that he was alive] if you did not think 
me weakened in mind." 

95. They said, "By God, indeed you are in 
your [same] old error." 



88. So when they entered upon him [i.e., 
Joseph], they said, "O Azeez, adversity 
has touched us and our family, and we 
have come with goods poor in quality, 
but give us full measure and be charita- 
ble to us. Indeed, God rewards the cha- 
ritable." 

89. He said, "Do you know what you did 
with Joseph and his brother when you 
were ignorant?" 

90. They said, "Are you indeed Joseph?" 
He said, "I am Joseph, and this is my 
brother. God has certainly favored us. 
Indeed, he who fears God and is pa- 
tient, then indeed, God does not allow 

563 i.e., he lost his sight. 

564 He did not express the extent of his grief or 
his anger at what he suspected his sons had done 
but was patient, depending only upon God for 
help. 



96. And when the bearer of good tidings 566 
arrived, he cast it over his face, and he 
returned [once again] seeing. He said, 
"Did I not tell you that I know from 
God that which you do not know?" 

97. They said, "O our father, ask for us 
forgiveness of our sins; indeed, we have 
been sinners." 

98. He said, "I will ask forgiveness for you 
from my Lord. Indeed, it is He who is 
the Forgiving, the Merciful." 

99. And when they entered upon Joseph, 
he took his parents to himself [i.e., em- 
braced them] and said, "Enter Egypt, 
God willing, safe [and secure]." 

565 To those present with him, either some of his 
sons or other relatives. 

566 ]_[ e w h carried Joseph's shirt from among the 
brothers. 

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100. And he raised his parents upon the 107. 
throne, and they bowed to him in pro- 
stration. 567 And he said, "O my father, 

this is the explanation of my vision of 

before. My Lord has made it reality. 

And He was certainly good to me when 

He took me out of prison and brought 108. 

you [here] from bedouin life after Satan 

had induced [estrangement] between 

me and my brothers. Indeed, my Lord 

is Subde in what He wills. Indeed, it is 

He who is the Knowing, the Wise. 

109. 

101. My Lord, You have given me [some- 
thing] of sovereignty and taught me of 
the interpretation of dreams. Creator of 
the heavens and earth, You are my pro- 
tector in this world and in the Hereaf- 
ter. Cause me to die a Muslim and join 
me with the righteous." 

102. That is from the news of the unseen 

which We reveal, [O Muhammad], to 110. 

you. And you were not with them when 
they put together their plan while they 
conspired. 

103. And most of the people, although you 
strive [for it], are not believers. 

1 04. And you do not ask of them for it any 111. 
payment. It is not except a reminder to 

the worlds. 

105. And how many a sign within the hea- 
vens and earth do they pass over while 
they, therefrom, are turning away. 



Then do they feel secure that there will 
not come to them an overwhelming 
[aspect] of the punishment of God or 
that the Hour will not come upon them 
suddenly while they do not perceive? 

Say, "This is my way; I invite to God 
with insight, I and those who follow 
me. And exalted is God; and I am not 
of those who associate others with 
Him." 

And We sent not before you [as mes- 
sengers] except men to whom We re- 
vealed from among the people of cities. 
So have they 568 not traveled through 
the earth and observed how was the 
end of those before them? And the 
home of the Hereafter is best for those 
who fear God; then will you not rea- 
son? 

[They continued] until, when the mes- 
sengers despaired and were certain that 
they had been denied, there came to 
them Our victory, and whoever We 
willed was saved. And Our punishment 
cannot be repelled from the people 
who are criminals. 

There was certainly in their stories a 
lesson for those of understanding. 
Never was it [i.e., the Qur'an] a narra- 
tion invented, but a confirmation of 
what was before it and a detailed expla- 
nation of all things and guidance and 
mercy for a people who believe. 



106. And most of them believe not in God 
except while they associate others with 
Him. 



567 That of greeting and respect, which was lawful 
until the time of Prophet Muhammad. Prostra- 
tion to any person or object other that God was 
then prohibited conclusively. 



568 Those who deny Prophet Muhammad. 



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Surah 13: ar-Ra'd www.quranproject.org 13: Thunder 

Surah 13: ar-Ra'd 

Period of Revelation 

The internal evidence (v. 27-31 and v. 34-48) shows that this Surah was revealed in the last stage of the Mis- 
sion of the Prophet at Makkah and during the same period in which Surah's Yunus, Hud, and al-A'raf were 
sent down. 

On the one hand his opponents had been scheming different devices to defeat him and his Mission and on 
the other his followers had been expressing a desire that by showing a miracle the disbelievers might be 
brought to the Right Way. In answer God impressed on the Believers that it is not His way to revert people 
by this method and that they should not lose heart if He is giving the enemies of the Truth a rope long 
enough to hang themselves. Otherwise He is able to show such signs as may bring the dead out of their 
graves and make them speak (v. 31). But even then these obdurate people will invent an excuse to explain 
this away. All this decisive evidence clearly proves that this Surah was revealed during the last stage of the 
Prophet's Mission at Makkah. 

Central Theme 

The first verse enunciates the main theme of this Surah that is The Message of Muhammad is the very Truth 
but it is the fault of the people that they are rejecting it. This is the pivot on which the whole Surah turns. 
This is why it has been shown over and over again in different ways that the basic components of the Mes- 
sage, Tawhid, Resurrection and Prophethood are a reality: therefore they should believe sincerely in these for 
their own moral and spiritual good. They have been warned that they shall incur their own ruin if they reject 
them for kufr by itself is sheer folly and ignorance. Moreover the aim of the Surah is not merely to satisfy the 
minds but also to appeal to the hearts to accept the Faith. Therefore it does not merely put forward logical 
arguments in support of the truth of the Message and against the people's wrong notions. But at appropriate 
intervals it makes frequent use of sympathetic and earnest appeals to win over their hearts by warning them 
of the consequences of Kufr (disbelief) and by holding out the happy rewards of Faith so that the foolish 
people should give up their stubbornness. 

Besides this, the objections of the opponents have been answered without any mention of them and those 
doubts which are proving a hindrance in the way of the Message or were being created by the opponents 
have been removed. At the same time the Believers; who had been passing through a long and hard ordeal 
and were feeling tired and waiting anxiously for God's succour, have been comforted and filled with hope 
and courage. 



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Surah 13: ar-Ra'd 569 

In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, 
the Most Merciful 

1. Alif, Lam, Meem, Ra. 570 These are the 
verses of the Book; and what has been 
revealed to you from your Lord is the 
truth, but most of the people do not 
believe. 

2. It is God who erected the heavens 
without pillars that you [can] see; then 
He established Himself above the 
Throne and made subject 571 the sun 
and the moon, each running [its course] 
for a specified term. He arranges [each] 
matter; He details the signs that you 
may, of the meeting with your Lord, be 
certain. 

3. And it is He who spread the earth and 
placed therein firmly set mountains and 
rivers; and from all of the fruits He 
made therein two mates; He causes the 
night to cover the day. Indeed in that 
are signs for a people who give 
thought. 

4. And within the land are neighboring 
plots and gardens of grapevines and 
crops and palm trees, [growing] several 
from a root or otherwise, 572 watered 
with one water; but We make some of 
them exceed others in [quality of] fruit. 
Indeed in that are signs for a people 
who reason. 



10. 



11. 



Those are the ones who have disbe- 
lieved in their Lord, and those will have 
shackles 574 upon their necks, and those 
are the companions of the Fire; they 
will abide therein eternally. 

They impatiendy urge you to bring 
about evil before good, 575 while there 
has already occurred before them simi- 
lar punishments [to what they demand] . 
And indeed, your Lord is full of for- 
giveness for the people despite their 
wrongdoing, and indeed, your Lord is 
severe in penalty. 

And those who disbelieved say, "Why 
has a sign not been sent down to him 
from his Lord?" You are only a warner, 
and for every people is a guide. 

God knows what every female carries 576 
and what the wombs lose [prematurely] 
or exceed. 577 And everything with Him 
is by due measure. 

[He is] Knower of the unseen and the 
witnessed, the Grand, the Exalted. 

It is the same [to Him] concerning you 
whether one conceals [his] speech or 
one publicizes it and whether one is 
hidden by night or conspicuous [among 
others] by day. 

For him [i.e., each one] are successive 
[angels] 578 before and behind him who 



5. And if you are astonished, 573 [O Mu- 
hammad] - then astonishing is their say- 
ing, "When we are dust, will we indeed 
be [brought] into a new creation?" 

569 Ar-Ra'd: Thunder. 

570 See footnote to 2:1 

571 For the benefit of mankind 

572 i.e., only one from a root. 

573 At those who deny resurrection. 



574 Iron collars to which their hands are chained. 

575 They said, challenging the Prophet in ridicule, 
"Bring on the punishment, if you are truthful," 
rather than asking for mercy and forgiveness 
from God. 

576 With absolute knowledge inclusive of every 
aspect of the fetus' existence. 

577 Beyond their normal period of pregnancy 
and/or the number of fetuses therein. 

578 Replacing each other by turn. 

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protect him by the decree of God. 579 
Indeed, God will not change the condi- 
tion of a people until they change what 
is in themselves. And when God in- 
tends for a people ill, 580 there is no re- 
pelling it. And there is not for them be- 
sides Him any patron. 

12. It is He who shows you lightening, 
[causing] fear and aspiration, and gene- 
rates the heavy clouds. 

13. And the thunder exalts [God] with 
praise of Him - and the angels [as well] 
from fear of Him - and He sends thun- 
derbolts and strikes therewith whom 
He wills while they dispute about God; 
and He is severe in assault. 

14. To Him [alone] is the supplication of 
truth. And those they call upon besides 
Him do not respond to them with a 
thing, except as one who stretches his 
hands toward water [from afar, calling 
it] to reach his mouth, but it will not 
reach it [thus]. 581 And the supplication 
of the disbelievers is not but in error 
[i.e., futility], 

15. And to God prostrates whoever is 
within the heavens and the earth, wil- 
lingly or by compulsion, and their sha- 
dows [as well] in the mornings and the 
afternoons. 

1 6. Say, "Who is Lord of the heavens and 
earth?" Say, "God." Say, "Have you 
then taken besides Him allies not pos- 
sessing [even] for themselves any bene- 
fit or any harm?" Say, "Is the blind 



579 The phrase may also be rendered "...who 
guard him from [everything except] the decree of 
God." 

580 i.e., punishment or destruction because of 
their sins. 

581 The analogy indicates that false deities will 
never respond to them at all. 



equivalent to the seeing? Or is darkness 
equivalent to light? Or have they attri- 
buted to God partners who created like 
His creation so that the creation [of 
each] seemed similar to them?" 582 Say, 
"God is the Creator of all things, and 
He is the One, the Prevailing." 

17. He sends down from the sky, rain, and 
valleys flow according to their capacity, 
and the torrent carries a rising foam. 
And from that [ore] which they heat in 
the fire, desiring adornments and uten- 
sils, is a foam like it. Thus God 
presents [the example of] truth and 
falsehood. As for the foam, it vanishes, 
[being] cast off; but as for that which 
benefits the people, it remains on the 
earth. Thus does God present exam- 
ples. 

18. For those who have responded to their 
Lord is the best [reward], but those 
who did not respond to Him - if they 
had all that is in the earth entirely and 
the like of it with it, they would [at- 
tempt to] ransom themselves thereby. 
Those will have the worst account, and 
their refuge is Hell, and wretched is the 
resting place. 

19. Then is he who knows that what has 
been revealed to you from your Lord is 
the truth like one who is blind? They 
will only be reminded who are people 
of understanding - 

20. Those who fulfill the covenant of God 
and do not break the contract, 

21. And those who join that which God 
has ordered to be joined 583 and fear 



582 The obvious conclusion is that the claimed 
partners, having no ability to create, cannot be 
compared to God in any way. 

583 i.e., they uphold the ties of relationship. 

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their Lord and are afraid of the evil of 
[their] account, 

22. And those who are patient, seeking the 
countenance of their Lord, and estab- 
lish prayer and spend from what We 
have provided for them secretly and 
publicly and prevent evil with good - 
those will have the good consequence 
of [this] home 584 - 

23. Gardens of perpetual residence; they 
will enter them with whoever were 
righteous among their fathers, their 
spouses and their descendants. And the 
angels will enter upon them from every 
gate, [saying], 

24. "Peace [i.e., security] be upon you for 
what you patiendy endured. And excel- 
lent is the final home." 

25. But those who break the covenant of 
God after contracting it and sever that 
which God has ordered to be joined 
and spread corruption on earth - for 
them is the curse, and they will have 
the worst home. 585 

26. God extends provision for whom He 
wills and restricts [it]. And they rejoice 
in the worldly life, while the worldly life 
is not, compared to the Hereafter, ex- 
cept [brief] enjoyment. 

27. And those who disbelieved say, "Why 
has a sign not been sent down to him 
from his Lord?" Say, [O Muhammad], 
"Indeed, God leaves astray whom He 
wills and guides to Himself whoever 
turns back [to Him] - 



584 i.e., the world and its trails, its good conse- 
quences being Paradise. 

583 i.e., Hell. Another meaning is (in contrast to 
verse 22), "...and they will have the bad conse- 
quence of [this] home," also referring to Hell. 



28. 



29. 



30. 



31. 



32. 



33. 



Those who have believed and whose 
hearts are assured by the remembrance 
of God. Unquestionably, by the re- 
membrance of God hearts are assured." 



Those who have 
righteous deeds - 
and a good return 



believed and done 
a good state is theirs 



Thus have We sent you to a community 
before which [other] communities have 
passed on so you might recite to them 
that which We revealed to you, while 
they disbelieve in the Most Merciful. 
Say, "He is my Lord; there is no deity 
except Him. Upon Him I rely, and to 
Him is my return." 

And if there was any qur'an [i.e., recita- 
tion] by which the mountains would be 
removed or the earth would be broken 
apart or the dead would be made to 
speak, 586 [it would be this Qur'an], but 
to God belongs the affair entirely. Then 
have those who believed not accepted 
that had God willed, He would have 
guided the people, all of them? And 
those who disbelieve do not cease to be 
struck, for what they have done, by ca- 
lamity - or it will descend near their 
home - until there comes the promise 
of God. Indeed, God does not fail in 
[His] promise. 

And already were [other] messengers 
ridiculed before you, and I extended 
the time of those who disbelieved; then 
I seized them, and how [terrible] was 
My penalty. 

Then is He who is a maintainer of 
every soul, [knowing] what it has 
earned, pike any other]? But to God 
they have attributed partners. Say, 
"Name them. Or do you inform Him 



586 As suggested by the disbelievers. 



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34. 



of that 587 which He knows not upon 
the earth or of what is apparent [i.e., al- 
leged] of speech?" 588 Rather, their 
[own] plan has been made attractive to 
those who disbelieve, and they have 
been averted from the way. And who- 
mever God leaves astray - there will be 
for him no guide. 

For them will be punishment in the life 
of [this] world, and the punishment of 
the Hereafter is more severe. And they 
will not have from God any protector. 



messenger to come with a sign except 
by permission of God. For every term 
is a decree. 

39. God eliminates what He wills or con- 
firms, and with Him is the Mother of 
the Book.590 

40. And whether We show you part of 
what We promise them or take you in 
death, upon you is only the [duty of] 
notification, and upon Us is the ac- 
count. 



35. The example [i.e., description] of Para- 41. 
dise, which the righteous have been 
promised, is [that] beneath it rivers 

flow. Its fruit is lasting, and its shade. 
That is the consequence for the righ- 
teous, and the consequence for the dis- 
believers is the Fire. 42. 

36. And [the believers among] those to 
whom We have given the [previous] 
Scripture rejoice at what has been re- 
vealed to you, [O Muhammad], but 
among the [opposing] factions are 43. 
those who deny part of it [i.e., the 
Qur'an], Say, "I have only been com- 
manded to worship God and not asso- 
ciate [anything] with Him. To Him I 
invite, and to Him is my return." 



Have they not seen that We set upon 
the land, reducing it from its bor- 
ders? 591 And God decides; there is no 
adjuster of His decision. And He is 
swift in account. 

And those before them had plotted, but 
to God belongs the plan entirely. He 
knows what every soul earns, and the 
disbelievers will know for whom is the 
final home. 

And those who have disbelieved say, 
"You are not a messenger." Say, [O 
Muhammad], "Sufficient is God as 
Witness between me and you, and [the 
witness of] whoever has knowledge of 
the Scripture." 592 



37. And thus We have revealed it as an 
Arabic legislation. 589 And if you should 
follow their inclinations after what has 
come to you of knowledge, you would 
not have against God any ally or any 
protector. 



38. And We have already sent messengers 
before you and assigned to them wives 
and descendants. And it was not for a 

587 i.e., other "deities." 

588 i.e., your attributing of divinity to other than 
God. 

589 i.e., revealed in the Arabic language. 



590 The Preserved Slate (al-~Lau>h al-MahfutB), in 
which is inscribed the original of every scripture 
revealed by God. 

591 Referring to the spread of Islam through 
God's Prophet and the diminishing of those areas 
controlled by the polytheist. 

592 i.e., those who recognize the truth through 
their knowledge of previous scriptures. 

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Surah 14: Ibraheem www.quranproject.org 14: Abraham 

Surah 14: Ibraheem 

Period of Revelation 

It appears from the tone of the Surah that it belongs to that group of the Surahs which were revealed during 
the last stage of the Makkan period. For instance v.13 ("And those who disbelieved said to their messen- 
gers, "We will surely drive you out of our land, or you must return to our religion." So their Lord 
inspired to them, "We will surely destroy the wrongdoers.") clearly indicates that the persecution of the 
Muslims was at its worst at the time of the revelation of this Surah and the people of Makkah were bent on 
expelling the Believers from there like the disbelievers of the former Prophets. 

Central Theme and Purpose 

This Surah is an admonition and a warning to the disbelievers who were rejecting the Message of the Proph- 
et and devising cunning schemes to defeat his Mission. But warning, censure and reproach dominate admo- 
nition. This is because a good deal of admonition had already been made in the preceding Surahs but in spite 
of this their obduracy, enmity, antagonism, mischief, persecution etc. had rather increased. 



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Surah 14: Ibraheem 593 

In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, 
the Most Merciful 

1. Alif, Lam, Ra. 594 [This is] a Book which 
We have revealed to you, [O Muham- 
mad], that you might bring mankind 
out of darknesses into the light by per- 
mission of their Lord - to the path of 
the Exalted in Mght, the Praiseworthy 



God, to whom belongs whatever is in 
the heavens and whatever is on the 
earth. And woe [i.e., destruction] to the 
disbelievers from a severe punishment - 

The ones who prefer the worldly life 
over the Hereafter and avert [people] 
from the way of God, seeking to make 
it [seem] deviant. Those are in extreme 
error. 

And We did not send any messenger 
except [speaking] in the language of his 
people to state clearly for them, and 
God sends astray [thereby] whom He 
wills 595 and guides whom He wills. And 
He is the Exalted in Mght, the Wise. 

And We certainly sent Moses with Our 
signs, [saying], "Bring out your people 
from darknesses into the light and re- 
mind them of the days 596 of God." In- 
deed in that are signs for everyone pa- 
tient and grateful. 

And [recall, O Children of Israel], when 
Moses said to His people, "Remember 
the favor of God upon you when He 



593 Ibraheem; (The Prophet) Abraham. 

594 See footnote to 2:1. 

595 i.e., those who refuse His guidance. 

596 Days of blessings bestowed upon the Children 
of Israel. Also interpreted as days of punishment 
and destruction of the former nations. 



saved you from the people of Pharaoh, 
who were afflicting you with the worst 
torment and were slaughtering your 
[newborn] sons and keeping your fe- 
males alive. And in that was a great trial 
from your Lord. 

7. And [remember] when your Lord proc- 
laimed, 'If you are grateful, I will surely 
increase you [in favor]; but if you deny, 
indeed, My punishment is severe.'" 

8. And Moses said, "If you should disbe- 
lieve, you and whoever is on the earth 
entirely - indeed, God is Free of need 
and Praiseworthy." 

9. Has there not reached you the news of 
those before you - the people of Noah 
and 'Aad and Thamud and those after 
them? No one knows them [i.e., their 
number] but God. Their messengers 
brought them clear proofs, but they re- 
turned their hands to their mouths 597 
and said, "Indeed, we disbelieve in that 
with which you have been sent, and in- 
deed we are, about that to which you 
invite us, in disquieting doubt." 

10. Their messengers said, "Can there be 
doubt about God, Creator of the hea- 
vens and earth? He invites you that He 
may forgive you of your sins, and He 
delays you [i.e., your death] for a speci- 
fied term." They said, You are not but 
men like us who wish to avert us from 
what our fathers were worshipping. So 
bring us a clear authority [i.e., evi- 
dence]." 

1 1 . Their messengers said to them, "We are 
only men like you, but God confers fa- 
vor upon whom He wills of His ser- 

597 Several explanations have been given as to the 
meaning. Based upon the conclusion of the verse, 
Ibn Katheer preferred that this was a gesture of 
denial and rejection. 

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vants. It has never been for us to bring 
you evidence except by permission of 
God. And upon God let the believers 
rely. 

12. And why should we not rely upon God 
while He has guided us to our [good] 
ways. And we will surely be patient 
against whatever harm you should 
cause us. And upon God let those who 
would rely [indeed] rely." 

13. And those who disbelieved said to their 
messengers, "We will surely drive you 
out of our land, or you must return to 
our religion." So their Lord inspired to 
them, "We will surely destroy the 
wrongdoers. 

14. And We will surely cause you to dwell 
in the land after them. That is for he 
who fears My position 598 and fears My 
threat." 

15. And they requested decision [i.e., victo- 
ry from God], and disappointed, [there- 
fore], was every obstinate tyrant. 

16. Before him 599 is Hell, and he will be 
given a drink of purulent water. 600 

17. He will gulp it but will hardly [be able 
to] swallow it. And death will come to 
him from everywhere, but he is not to 
die. And before him is a massive pu- 
nishment. 

1 8. The example of those who disbelieve in 
their Lord is [that] their deeds are like 
ashes which the wind blows forcefully 
on a stormy day; they are unable [to 

598 An alternative meaning is "the standing [for 
account] before Me." 

599 Literally, "after him [in time]," meaning ahead 
of him. 

600 That which oozes from the skins of Hell's 
inhabitants. 



keep] from what they earned a [single] 
thing. That is what is extreme error. 

19. Have you not seen [i.e., considered] 
that God created the heavens and the 
earth in truth? If He wills, He can do 
away with you and produce a new crea- 
tion. 

20. And that is not difficult for God. 

21. And they will come out [for judgement] 
before God all together, and the weak 
will say to those who were arrogant, 
"Indeed, we were your followers, so 
can you avail us anything against the 
punishment of God?" They will say, "If 
God had guided us, we would have 
guided you. It is all the same for us 
whether we show intolerance or are pa- 
tient: there is for us no place of es- 
cape." 

22. And Satan will say when the matter has 
been concluded, "Indeed, God had 
promised you the promise of truth. 
And I promised you, but I betrayed 
you. But I had no authority over you 
except that I invited you, and you re- 
sponded to me. So do not blame me; 
but blame yourselves. I cannot be 
called to your aid, nor can you be called 
to my aid. Indeed, I deny your associa- 
tion of me [with God] before. 601 In- 
deed, for the wrongdoers is a painful 
punishment." 

23. And those who believed and did righ- 
teous deeds will be admitted to gardens 
beneath which rivers flow, abiding 
eternally therein by permission of their 
Lord; and their greeting therein will be, 
"Peace!" 



601 By your obedience to me instead of Him dur- 
ing life on earth. 

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24. Have you not considered how God 
presents an example, [making] a good 
word like a good tree, whose root is 
firmly fixed and its branches [high] in 
the sky? 

25. It produces its fruit all the time, by 
permission of its Lord. And God 
presents examples for the people that 
perhaps they will be reminded. 



exchange [i.e., ransom], nor any friend- 
ships. 

32. It is God who created the heavens and 
the earth and sent down rain from the 
sky and produced thereby some fruits 
as provision for you and subjected for 
you 605 the ships to sail through the sea 
by His command and subjected for you 
the rivers. 



26. And the example of a bad word is like a 
bad tree, uprooted from the surface of 
the earth, not having any stability. 



33. And He subjected for you the sun and 
the moon, continuous [in orbit], and 
subjected for you the night and the day. 



27. God keeps firm those who believe, 
with the firm word, 602 in worldly life 
and in the Hereafter. 603 And God sends 
astray the wrongdoers. And God does 
what He wills. 

28. Have you not considered those who 
exchanged the favor of God for disbe- 
lief 604 and settled their people [in] the 
home of ruin? 

29. [It is] Hell, which they will [enter to] 
burn, and wretched is the setdement. 

30. And they have attributed to God equals 
to mislead [people] from His way. Say, 
"Enjoy yourselves, for indeed, your 
destination is the Fire." 



34. And He gave you from all you asked of 
Him. 606 And if you should count the 
favor [i.e., blessings] of God, you could 
not enumerate them. Indeed, mankind 
is [generally] most unjust and ungrate- 
ful. 607 

35. And [mention, O Muhammad], when 
Abraham said, "My Lord, make this 
city [i.e., Makkah] secure and keep me 
and my sons away from worshipping 
idols. 

36. My Lord, indeed they have led astray 
many among the people. So whoever 
follows me - then he is of me; 608 and 
whoever disobeys me - indeed, You are 
[yet] Forgiving and Merciful. 



31. [O Muhammad], tell My servants who 
have believed to establish prayer and 
spend from what We have provided 
them, secredy and publicly, before a 
Day comes in which there will be no 



602 -j^g testimony that there is no deity except 
God and that Muhammad is the messenger of 
God. 

603 When questioned in their graves by the angels 
after death. 

604 They met God's blessing with denial instead of 



gratitude. 



37. Our Lord, I have setded some of my 
descendants in an uncultivated valley 
near Your sacred House, our Lord, that 
they may establish prayer. So make 
hearts among the people incline toward 
them and provide for them from the 
fruits that they might be grateful. 



605 i.e., made serviceable to you. 

606 Something of what you asked and all of what 
you continually require, according to His wisdom. 

607 i.e., disbelieving and denying of God's favour. 

608 i.e., of my religion. 

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38. Our Lord, indeed You know what we 
conceal and what we declare, and noth- 
ing is hidden from God on the earth or 
in the heaven. 

39. Praise to God, who has granted to me 
in old age Ishmael and Isaac. Indeed, 
my Lord is the Hearer of supplication. 

40. My Lord, make me an establisher of 
prayer, and [many] from my descen- 
dants. Our Lord, and accept my suppli- 
cation. 

41. Our Lord, forgive me and my parents 
and the believers the Day the account is 
established." 

42. And never think that God is unaware 
of what the wrongdoers do. He only 
delays them [i.e., their account] for a 
Day when eyes will stare [in horror], 

43. Racing ahead, their heads raised up, 
their glance does not come back to 
them, 609 and their hearts are void. 

44. And, [O Muhammad], warn the people 
of a Day when the punishment will 
come to them and those who did 
wrong will say, "Our Lord, delay us for 
a short term; we will answer Your call 
and follow the messengers." [But it will 
be said], "Had you not sworn, before, 
that for you there would be no cessa- 
tion? 61 " 



46. And they had planned their plan, but 
with God is [recorded] their plan, even 
if their plan had been [sufficient] to do 
away with the mountains. 611 

47. So never think that God will fail in His 
promise to His messengers. Indeed, 
God is Exalted in Mght and Owner of 
Retribution. 

48. [It will be] on the Day the earth will be 
replaced by another earth, and the hea- 
vens [as well], and they [i.e., all crea- 
tures] will come out before God, the 
One, the Prevailing, 

49. And you will see the criminals that Day 
bound together in shackles, 

50. Their garments of liquid pitch and their 
faces covered by the Fire 

51. So that God will recompense every soul 
for what it earned. Indeed, God is swift 
in account. 

52. This [Qur'an] is notification for the 
people that they may be warned there- 
by and that they may know that He is 
but one God and that those of under- 
standing will be reminded. 



45. And you lived among the dwellings of 
those who wronged themselves, and it 
had become clear to you how We dealt 
with them. And We presented for you 
[many] examples." 

609 This is their state at the time of resurrection 
from the graves. Their heads are upraised in fixed 
stares of terror, unable even to glance back. 

610 Of the blessings which God had bestowed 
upon you during life on earth. 



611 An alternative meaning is "...and their plan 
was not [sufficient] to do away with the moun- 
tains," i.e., it had no effect against God's will. 

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Surah 15: al-Hijr 

Period of Revelation 

It is clear from its topics and style that the period of its revelation is similar to that of Surah 
Ibrahim as two things are quite prominent in its background. Firstly, it appears from the repeated 
warnings in this Surah that despite the fact that the Prophet had been propagating the Message for 
many years his people in general had not shown any inclination towards its acceptance nay they 
had become more and more obdurate and stubborn in their antagonism enmity and ridicule with 
the passage of time. Secondly by that time the Prophet had begun to feel a little tired of making 
strenuous efforts to eradicate disbelief and opposition of his people. That is why God has consoled 
and comforted him over and over again by way of encouragement. 

Topics and the Central Theme 

Though the main topics of the Surah are : 

a. warning to those who rejected his Message, opposed it tooth and nail and ridiculed him. 

b. comfort and encouragement to the Prophet 

It does not mean that this Surah does not contain admonition and instructions. As a matter of fact 
the Qur'an never confines itself to mere warning; rebuke and censure but resorts to precept in 
every suitable place. Accordingly this Surah contains brief arguments for Tawhid (Monothesim) on 
the one hand and admonition in the story of Adam and Satan on the other. 



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Surah 15: al-Hijr 612 

In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, 
the Most Merciful 

1 . Alif, Lam, Ra. 613 These are the verses of 
the Book and a clear Qur'an [i.e., recita- 
tion], 

2. Perhaps those who disbelieve will 
wish 614 that they had been Muslims. 

3. Let them eat and enjoy themselves and 
be diverted by [false] hope, for they are 
going to know. 

4. And We did not destroy any city but 
that for it was a known decree. 

5. No nation will precede its term, nor will 
they remain thereafter. 

6. And they say, "O you upon whom the 
message has been sent down, indeed 
you are mad. 615 

7. Why do you not bring us the angels, if 
you should be among the truthful?" 

8. We do not send down the angels except 
with truth; 616 and they [i.e., the disbe- 
lievers] would not then be reprieved. 

9. Indeed, it is We who sent down the 
message [i.e., the Qur'an], and indeed, 
We will be its guardian. 



612 Al-Hijr. The valley of stone. It was inhabited 
by the tribe of Thamud (mentioned in verses 80- 
84), who caved palaces and dwellings out of the 
rock. 

613 See footnote to 2:1. 

614 On the Day of Judgement or at the time of 
death. 

615 Literally, "possessed by jinn." 

616 i.e., with a message or, as the conclusion of the 
verse suggests, to carry out a promised punish- 
ment. 



10. And We had certainly sent [messengers] 
before you, [O Muhammad], among 
the sects of the former peoples. 

1 1 . And no messenger would come to them 
except that they ridiculed him. 

12. Thus do We insert it [i.e., denial] into 
the hearts of the criminals. 

13. They will not believe in it, while there 
has already occurred the precedent of 
the former peoples. 

14. And [even] if We opened to them a gate 
from the heaven and they continued 
therein to ascend, 

15. They would say, "Our eyes have only 
been dazzled. Rather, we are a people 
affected by magic." 

16. And We have placed within the heaven 
great stars and have beautified it for the 
observers. 

17. And We have protected it from every 
devil expelled [from the mercy of God] 

18. Except one who steals a hearing and is 
pursued by a clear burning flame. 

19. And the earth - We have spread it and 
cast therein firmly set mountains and 
caused to grow therein [something] of 
every well-balanced thing. 

20. And We have made for you therein 
means of living and [for] those for 
whom you are not providers. 617 

21. And there is not a thing but that with 
Us are its depositories, and We do not 

617 God has put at your service other men and 
animals for which He provides. An additional 
meaning is that God provides means for your 
living and for all other creatures as well. 

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send it down except according to a 
known [i.e., specified] measure. 

22. And We have sent the fertilizing 
winds 618 and sent down water from the 
sky and given you drink from it. And 
you are not its retainers. 

23. And indeed, it is We who give life and 
cause death, and We are the Inheri- 
tor. 619 

24. And We have already known the pre- 
ceding [generations] among you, and 
We have already known the later [ones 
to come]. 

25. And indeed, your Lord will gather 
them; indeed, He is Wise and Knowing. 

26. And We did certainly create man out of 
clay from an altered black mud. 

27. And the jinn We created before from 
scorching fire. 

28. And [mention, O Muhammad], when 
your Lord said to the angels, "I will 
create a human being out of clay from 
an altered black mud. 



31. Except Iblees; 621 he refused to be with 
those who prostrated. 

32. [God] said, "O Iblees, what is [the mat- 
ter] with you that you are not with 
those who prostrate?" 

33. He said, "Never would I prostrate to a 
human whom You created out of clay 
from an altered black mud." 

34. [God] said, "Then get out of it, 622 for 
indeed, you are expelled. 

35. And indeed, upon you is the curse until 
the Day of Recompense." 

36. He said, "My Lord, then reprieve me 
until the Day they are resurrected." 

37. [God] said, "So indeed, you are of those 
reprieved 

38. Until the Day of the time well-known." 

39. [Iblees] said, "My Lord, because You 
have put me in error, I will surely make 
[disobedience] attractive to them [i.e., 
mankind] on earth, and I will mislead 
them all 



29. And when I have proportioned him and 
breathed into him of My [created] 
soul, 620 then fall down to him in pro- 
stration." 

30. So the angels prostrated - all of them 
entirely, 



618 Causing precipitation in rainclouds or carrying 
pollen. Another meaning is "pregnant winds," 
i.e., those earning rainclouds. 

619 God remains after all creation has passed 
away. 

620 ^hg element of life and soul which God 
created for that body, not His own sprit or part 
of Himself (as some mistakenly believe). 



40. Except, among them, Your chosen ser- 
vants." 

41. [God] said, "This is a path [of return] to 
Me [that is] straight. 

42. Indeed, My servants - no authority will 
you have over them, except those who 
follow you of the deviators. 

43. And indeed, Hell is the promised place 
for them all. 



621 Who was of the. jinn. See 18:50. 

622 Your position in the heavens. 



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44. It has seven gates; for every gate is of 
them [i.e., Satan's followers] a portion 
designated." 

45. Indeed, the righteous will be within 
gardens and springs, 

46. [Having been told], "Enter it in peace, 
safe [and secure]." 

47. And We will remove whatever is in 
their breasts of resentment, 623 [so they 
will be] brothers, on thrones facing 
each other. 

48. No fatigue will touch them therein, nor 
from it will they [ever] be removed. 

49. [O Muhammad], inform My servants 
that it is I who am the Forgiving, the 
Merciful, 



56. He said, "And who despairs of the mer- 
cy of his Lord except for those astray?" 

57. [Abraham] said, "Then what is your 
business [here], O messengers?" 

58. They said, "Indeed, we have been sent 
to a people of criminals, 

59. Except the family of Lot; indeed, we 
will save them all 

60. Except his wife." We [i.e., God] decreed 
that she is of those who remain be- 
hind. 624 

61. And when the messengers came to the 
family of Lot, 

62. He said, "Indeed, you are people un- 
known." 



50. And that it is My punishment which is 
the painful punishment. 

51. And inform them about the guests of 
Abraham, 

52. When they entered upon him and said, 
"Peace." [Abraham] said, "Indeed, we 
are fearful [i.e., apprehensive] of you." 

53. [The angels] said, "Fear not. Indeed, we 
give you good tidings of a learned boy." 

54. He said, "Have you given me good tid- 
ings although old age has come upon 
me? Then of what [wonder] do you in- 
form?" 

55. They said, "We have given you good 
tidings in truth, so do not be of the 
despairing." 



63. They said, "But we have come to you 
with that about which they were disput- 
ing, 

64. And we have come to you with truth, 
and indeed, we are truthful. 

65. So set out with your family during a 
portion of the night and follow behind 
them and let not anyone among you 
look back and continue on to where 
you are commanded." 

66. And We conveyed to him [the decree] 
of that matter: that those [sinners] 
would be eliminated by early morning. 

67. And the people of the city came rejoic- 



ing 



<,?.=• 



68. [Lot] said, "Indeed, these are my guests, 
so do not shame me. 



623 See footnote to 7:43. 



624 For having collaborated with the evildoers. 

625 At the news of Lot's visitors. 

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69. And fear God and do not disgrace me." 

70. They said, "Have we not forbidden you 
from [protecting] people?" 

71. [Lot] said, "These are my daughters 626 - 
if you would be doers [of lawful mar- 
riage]." 

72. By your life, [O Muhammad], indeed 
they were, in their intoxication, wander- 
ing blindly. 

73. So the shriek 627 seized them at sunrise. 

74. And We made the highest part [of the 
city] its lowest and rained upon them 
stones of hard clay. 

75. Indeed in that are signs for those who 
discern. 

76. And indeed, they [i.e., those cities] are 

[situated] on an established road. 

77. Indeed in that is a sign for the believers. 

78. And the companions of the thicket [i.e., 
the people of Madyan] were [also] 
wrongdoers, 

79. So We took retribution from them, and 
indeed, both [cities] are on a clear 
highway. 

80. And certainly did the companions of al- 
Hijr 628 [i.e., the Thamud] deny the mes- 
sengers. 

81. And We gave them Our signs, but from 
them they were turning away. 



626 i.e., the women of his community who were 
lawful for marriage. 

627 See footnote to 11:67. 

628 'phg va ii e y f stone. 



82. And they used to carve from the moun- 
tains, houses, feeling secure. 

83. But the shriek seized them at early 
morning, 

84. So nothing availed them [from] what 
they used to earn. 

85. And We have not created the heavens 
and earth and that between them ex- 
cept in truth. And indeed, the Hour is 
coming; so forgive with gracious for- 
giveness. 

86. Indeed, your Lord - He is the Knowing 
Creator. 

87. And We have certainly given you, [O 
Muhammad], seven of the often re- 
peated [verses] 629 and the great Qur'an. 

88. Do not extend your eyes toward that by 
which We have given enjoyment to 
[certain] categories of them [i.e., the 
disbelievers], and do not grieve over 
them. And lower your wing [i.e., show 
kindness] to the believers 

89. And say, "Indeed, I am the clear warn- 
er"- 

90. Just as We had revealed [scriptures] to 

the separators 630 

91. Who have made the Qur'an into por- 
tions. 631 

92. So by your Lord, We will surely ques- 
tion them all 

93. About what they used to do. 

629 Referring to Surah al-Fdtihah. 

630 Specifically, the Jews and Christians, who se- 
parated from the teachings of their prophets. 

631 Accepting part and rejecting part according to 
their own inclinations. 

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94. Then declare what you are com- 
manded 632 and turn away from the po- 
lyfheists. 633 

95. Indeed, We are sufficient for you 
against the mockers 

96. Who make [equal] with God another 
deity. But they are going to know. 

97. And We already know that your breast 
is constrained by what they say. 

98. So exalt [God] with praise of your Lord 
and be of those who prostrate [to 
Him]. 

99. And worship your Lord until there 
comes to you the certainty [i.e., death]. 



632 •j'hg implication is "Thereby you will distin- 
guish or separate the disbelievers from the believ- 
ers." 

633 Any who persist in association of others with 
God. 



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Surah 16: an-Nahl 

Period of Revelation 

The following internal evidence shows that this Surah was revealed during the last Makkan stage of Prophet- 
hood: 

1. V. 41 clearly shows that persecution had forced some Muslims to emigrate to Abassinyah before 
the revelation of this Surah. 

2. It is evident from v. 106 that at that time the persecution of the Muslims was at its height. There- 
fore a problem had arisen in regard to the utterance of a blasphemous word without actual disbelief 
under unbearable conditions. The problem was that if one did so how should he be treated. 

3. V. 112-114 clearly refer to the end of a seven year famine that had struck Makkah some years after 
the appointment of the Prophet as God's Messenger. 

Central Theme 

All the topics of the Surah revolve around different aspects of the Message i.e., refutation of Shirk (polythe- 
ism) proof of Tawhid and warning of the consequences of the rejection of and opposition and antagonism to 
the Message. 

Topics of Discussion 

The very first verse gives direct and strict warning to those who were rejecting the Message outright as if to 
say God's decision has already been made concerning your rejection of the Message. Why are you then cla- 
mouring for hastening it? Why don't you make use of the respite that is being given to you! And this was 
exactly what the disbelievers of Makkah needed at the time of the revelation of this Surah. For they chal- 
lenged the Prophet over and over again: "Why don't you bring that scourge with which you have been 
threatening us! For we have not only rejected your Message but have been openly opposing it for a long 
time." Such a challenge had become a by-word with them which they frequently repeated as a clear proof 
that Muhammad was not a true Prophet. 

Immediately after this warning they have been admonished to give up shirk (polytheism) for this false creed 
was the main obstacle in the way of the Message. Then the following topics come over and over again one 
after the other: 

1 . Very convincing proofs of Tawhid and refutation of Shirk have been based on the plain signs in the 
universe and in man's own self. 

2. The objections of the disbelievers have been answered, their arguments refuted, their doubts re- 
moved and their false pretexts exposed. 

3. Warnings have been given of the consequences of persistence in false ways and antagonism to the 
Message. 

4. The moral changes which the Message of the Prophet aims to bring practically in human life have 
been presented briefly in an appealing manner. The polytheists have been told that belief in God 
which they also professed demanded that it should not be confined merely to lip service but this 
creed should take a definite shape in moral and practical life. 

The Prophet and his companions have been comforted and told about the attitude they should adopt in the 
face of antagonism and persecution by the disbelievers. 



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Surah 16: an-Nahl 634 

In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, 
the Most Merciful 

1 . The command of God is coming, 635 so 
be not impatient for it. Exalted is He 
and high above what they associate 
with Him. 

2. He sends down the angels, with the 
inspiration [i.e., revelation] of His 
command, upon whom He wills of His 
servants, [telling them], "Warn that 
there is no deity except Me; so fear 
Me." 

3. He created the heavens and earth in 
truth. High is He above what they as- 
sociate with Him. 

4. He created man from a sperm-drop; 
then at once 636 he is a clear adversary. 

5. And the gra2ing livestock He has 
created for you; in them is warmth 637 
and [numerous] benefits, and from 
them you eat. 

6. And for you in them is [the enjoyment 
of] beauty when you bring them in [for 
the evening] and when you send them 
out [to pasture]. 

7. And they carry your loads to a land you 
could not have reached except with dif- 
ficulty to yourselves. Indeed, your Lord 
is Kind and Merciful. 

8. And [He created] the horses, mules and 
donkeys for you to ride and [as] 

<u An-Nahl: The Bee. 

635 Literally, "has come," indicating the certainty 
and nearness of the Last Hour. 

636 As soon as he becomes strong and indepen- 
dent. 

637 i.e., in clothing, tents, furnishings, etc. 



adornment. And He creates that which 
you do not know. 

9. And upon God 638 is the direction of the 

[right] way, and among them [i.e., the 
various paths] are those deviating. And 
if He willed, He could have guided you 
all. 

10. It is He who sends down rain from the 
sky; from it is drink and from it is fo- 
liage in which you pasture [animals] . 

1 1 . He causes to grow for you thereby the 
crops, olives, palm trees, grapevines, 
and from all the fruits. Indeed in that is 
a sign for a people who give thought. 

12. And He has subjected for you the night 
and day and the sun and moon, and the 
stars are subjected by His command. 
Indeed in that are signs for a people 
who reason. 

13. And [He has subjected] whatever He 
multiplied for you on the earth of vary- 
ing colors. Indeed in that is a sign for a 
people who remember. 

14. And it is He who subjected the sea for 
you to eat from it tender meat and to 
extract from it ornaments which you 
wear. And you see the ships plowing 
through it, and [He subjected it] that 
you may seek of His bounty; and per- 
haps you will be grateful. 

15. And He has cast into the earth firmly 
set mountains, lest it shift with you, and 
[made] rivers and roads, that you may 
be guided, 



638 God has taken it upon Himself to guide man 
to the right path. The meaning has also been in- 
terpreted as "To God. . ." 

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16. And landmarks. And by the stars they 
are [also] guided. 639 

17. Then is He who creates like one who 
does not create? So will you not be re- 
minded? 

1 8. And if you should count the favors of 
God, you could not enumerate them. 
Indeed, God is Forgiving and Merciful. 

19. And God knows what you conceal and 
what you declare. 

20. And those they invoke other than God 
create nothing, and they [themselves] 
are created. 

21. They are, [in fact], dead, 640 not alive, 
and they do not perceive when they will 
be resurrected. 

22. Your god is one God. But those who 
do not believe in the Hereafter - their 
hearts are disapproving, and they are 
arrogant. 

23. Assuredly, God knows what they con- 
ceal and what they declare. Indeed, He 
does not like the arrogant. 

24. And when it is said to them, "What has 
your Lord sent down?" they say, "Le- 
gends of the former peoples," 

25. That they may bear their own burdens 

[i.e., sins] in full on the Day of Resur- 
rection and some of the burdens of 
those whom they misguide without [i.e., 
by lack of] knowledge. Unquestionably, 
evil is that which they bear. 

26. Those before them had already plotted, 
but God came at [i.e., uprooted] their 



639 Through the desert or the sea at night. 

640 i.e., inanimate or without understanding. 



building from the foundations, so the 
roof fell upon them from above 
them, 641 and the punishment came to 
them from where they did not perceive. 

27. Then on the Day of Resurrection He 
will disgrace them and say, "Where are 
My 'partners' for whom you used to 
oppose [the believers]?" Those who 
were given knowledge will say, "Indeed 
disgrace, this Day, and evil are upon the 
disbelievers" - 

28. The ones whom the angels take in 
death [while] wronging themselves, 642 
and [who] then offer submission, [say- 
ing], "We were not doing any evil." 
But, yes! Indeed, God is Knowing of 
what you used to do. 

29. So enter the gates of Hell to abide eter- 
nally therein, and how wretched is the 
residence of the arrogant. 

30. And it will be said to those who feared 
God, "What did your Lord send 
down?" They will say, "[That which is] 
good." For those who do good in this 
world is good; and the home of the He- 
reafter is better. And how excellent is 
the home of the righteous - 

31. Gardens of perpetual residence, which 
they will enter, beneath which rivers 
flow. They will have therein whatever 
they wish. Thus does God reward the 
righteous - 

32. The ones whom the angels take in 
death, [being] good and pure; [the an- 
gels] will say, "Peace be upon you. En- 
ter Paradise for what you used to do." 



641 i.e., God caused their plan to fail and exposed 
their plot. 

642 i.e., having made punishment due to them for 
their numerous sins and crimes. 

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33. Do they [i.e., the disbelievers] await 39. 
[anything] except that the angels should 

come to them or there comes the 
command of your Lord? Thus did 
those do before them. And God 
wronged them not, but they had been 40. 

wronging themselves. 

34. So they were struck by the evil conse- 
quences of what they did and were en- 41. 
veloped by what they used to ridicule. 

35. And those who associate others with 
God say, "If God had willed, we would 
not have worshipped anything other 
than Him, neither we nor our fathers, 

nor would we have forbidden anything 42. 

through other than Him." Thus did 
those do before them. So is there upon 
the messengers except [the duty of] 43. 

clear notification? 

36. And We certainly sent into every nation 
a messenger, [saying], "Worship God 
and avoid taghut." 643 And among them 

were those whom God guided, and 44. 

among them were those upon whom 
error was [deservedly] decreed. So pro- 
ceed [i.e., travel] through the earth and 
observe how was the end of the den- 
iers. 

37. [Even] if you should strive for their 45. 
guidance, [O Muhammad], indeed, God 

does not guide those He sends astray, 644 
and they will have no helpers. 

38. And they swear by God their strongest 

oaths [that] God will not resurrect one 46. 

who dies. But yes - [it is] a true promise 
[binding] upon Him, but most of the 
people do not know. 



[It is] so He will make clear to them [the 
truth of] that wherein they differ and so 
those who have disbelieved may know 
that they were liars. 

Indeed, Our word to a thing when We 
intend it is but that We say to it, "Be," 
and it is. 

And those who emigrated for [the cause 
of] God after they had been wronged - 
We will surely setde them in this world 
in a good place; but the reward of the 
Hereafter is greater, if only they could 
know. 

[They are] those who endured patiendy 
and upon their Lord relied. 

And We sent not before you except 
men to whom We revealed [Our mes- 
sage]. So ask the people of the message 
[i.e., former scriptures] if you do not 
know. 

[We sent them] with clear proofs and 
written ordinances. And We revealed to 
you the message [i.e., the Qur'an] that 
you may make clear to the people what 
was sent down to them and that they 
might give thought. 

Then, do those who have planned evil 
deeds feel secure that God will not 
cause the earth to swallow them or that 
the punishment will not come upon 
them from where they do not perceive? 

Or that He would not seize them dur- 
ing their [usual] activity, and they could 
not cause failure [i.e., escape from 
Him]? 



643 False objects of worship. 

644 As a result of their choice to reject guidance. 



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47. Or that He would not seize them grad- 
ually [in a state of dread]? 645 But indeed, 
your Lord is Kind and Merciful. 646 

48. Have they not considered what things 57. 
God has created? Their shadows incline 

to the right and to the left, prostrating 
to God, while they [i.e., those creations] 
are humble. 58. 

49. And to God prostrates whatever is in 
the heavens and whatever is on the 

earth of creatures, and the angels [as 59. 

well], and they are not arrogant. 

50. They fear their Lord above them, and 
they do what they are commanded. 



that which We have provided them. By 
God, you will surely be questioned 
about what you used to invent. 

And they attribute to God daughters 649 
- exalted is He - and for them is what 
they desire [i.e., sons]. 

And when one of them is informed of 
[the birth of] a female, his face be- 
comes dark, and he suppresses grief. 

He hides himself from the people be- 
cause of the ill of which he has been in- 
formed. Should he keep it in humilia- 
tion or bury it in the ground? Unques- 
tionably, evil is what they decide. 



51. And God has said, "Do not take for 
yourselves two 647 deities. He [i.e., God] 
is but one God, so fear only Me." 

52. And to Him belongs whatever is in the 
heavens and the earth, and to Him is 
[due] worship constantly. Then is it 
other than God that you fear? 

53. And whatever you have of favor - it is 
from God. Then when adversity touch- 
es you, to Him you cry for help. 

54. Then when He removes the adversity 
from you, at once a party of you asso- 
ciates others with their Lord 

55. So they will deny what We have given 
them. Then enjoy yourselves, for you 
are going to know. 

56. And they assign to what they do not 
know 648 [i.e., false deities] a portion of 



643 i.e., being aware of what is about to strike 
them after having seen those near them succumb. 

646 Postponing deserved punishment and giving 
opportunities for repentance. 

647 Meaning more than one. 



60. For those who do not believe in the 
Hereafter is the description [i.e., an 
attribute] of evil; 650 and for God is the 
highest attribute. And He is Exalted in 
Might, the Wise. 

61. And if God were to impose blame on 
the people for their wrongdoing, He 
would not have left upon it [i.e., the 
earth] any creature, but He defers them 
for a specified term. And when their 
term has come, they will not remain 
behind an hour, nor will they precede 
[it]. 

62. And they attribute to God that which 
they dislike [i.e., daughters], and their 
tongues assert the lie that they will have 
the best [from Him], Assuredly, they 
will have the Fire, and they will be 
[therein] neglected. 651 

648 i.e., that of which they have no knowledge; 
rather, they have mere assumption based upon 
tradition or the claims of misguided men. 

649 By claiming that the angels are His daughters. 

650 Such as that described in the previous two 
verses. 

651 Another meaning is ". . .and they will be made 
to precede [all others thereto]." 

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63. By God, We did certainly send [mes- 
sengers] to nations before you, but Sa- 
tan made their deeds attractive to them. 
And he is their [i.e., the disbelievers] al- 
ly today [as well], and they will have a 
painful punishment. 



70. And God created you; then He will take 
you in death. And among you is he who 
is reversed to the most decrepit [old] 
age so that he will not know, after [hav- 
ing had] knowledge, a thing. Indeed, 
God is Knowing and Competent. 



64. And We have not revealed to you the 71. 
Book, [O Muhammad], except for you 

to make clear to them that wherein they 
have differed and as guidance and mer- 
cy for a people who believe. 

65. And God has sent down rain from the 
sky and given life thereby to the earth 
after its lifelessness. Indeed in that is a 

sign for a people who listen. 72. 

66. And indeed, for you in gra2ing livestock 
is a lesson. We give you drink from 
what is in their bellies - between excre- 
tion and blood - pure milk, palatable to 
drinkers. 



And God has favored some of you over 
others in provision. But those who 
were favored [i.e., given more] would 
not hand over their provision to those 
whom their right hands possess [i.e., 
slaves] so they would be equal to them 
therein. 654 Then is it the favor of God 
they reject? 

And God has made for you from your- 
selves mates and has made for you 
from your mates sons and grandchil- 
dren and has provided for you from the 
good things. Then in falsehood do they 
believe and in the favor of God they 
disbelieve? 



67. And from the fruits of the palm trees 
and grapevines you take intoxicant and 
good provision. 652 Indeed in that is a 
sign for a people who reason. 

68. And your Lord inspired to the bee, 
"Take for yourself among the moun- 
tains, houses [i.e., hives], and among 
the trees and [in] that which they con- 
struct. 

69. Then eat from all the fruits 653 and fol- 
low the ways of your Lord laid down 
[for you]." There emerges from their 
bellies a drink, varying in colors, in 
which there is healing for people. In- 
deed in that is a sign for a people who 
give thought. 



73. And they worship besides God that 
which does not possess for them [the 
power of] provision from the heavens 
and the earth at all, and [in fact], they 
are unable. 

74. So do not assert similarities to God. 655 
Indeed, God knows and you do not 
know. 

75. God presents an example: a slave [who 
is] owned and unable to do a thing and 
he to whom We have provided from 
Us good provision, so he spends from 
it secretly and publicly. Can they be 
equal? Praise to God! But most of them 
do not know. 



652 This verse was revealed before the prohibition 
of intoxicants. It alludes to the fact that there are 
both evil and good possibilities in certain things. 

653 i.e., delicious substances found by the bee. 



6s4 'phg argument presented in this verse is: if they 
cannot consider their own possessions equal to 
themselves, then how can they consider God's 
creations as being equal to Him? 
655 As there is nothing comparable to Him. 

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76. And God presents an example of two 82. 
men, one of them dumb and unable to 

do a thing, while he is a burden to his 
guardian. Wherever he directs him, he 
brings no good. Is he equal to one who 83. 

commands justice, while he is on a 
straight path? 

77. And to God belongs the unseen [as- 84. 
pects] of the heavens and the earth. 

And the command for the Hour is not 
but as a glance of the eye or even near- 
er. Indeed, God is over all things com- 
petent. 



But if they turn away, [O Muhammad] - 
then only upon you is [responsibility 
for] clear notification. 

They recogni2e the favor of God; then 
they deny it. And most of them are dis- 
believers. 

And [mention] the Day when We will 
resurrect from every nation a witness 
[i.e., their prophet]. Then it will not be 
permitted to the disbelievers [to apo- 
logi2e or make excuses], nor will they 
be asked to appease [God]. 



78. And God has extracted you from the 
wombs of your mothers not knowing a 
thing, and He made for you hearing 
and vision and hearts [i.e., intellect] that 
perhaps you would be grateful. 

79. Do they not see the birds controlled in 
the atmosphere of the sky? None holds 
them up except God. Indeed in that are 
signs for a people who believe. 

80. And God has made for you from your 
homes a place of rest and made for you 
from the hides of the animals tents 
which you find light on your day of tra- 
vel and your day of encampment; and 
from their wool, fur and hair is furnish- 
ing and enjoyment [i.e., provision] for a 
time. 

81. And God has made for you, from that 
which He has created, shadows [i.e., 
shade] and has made for you from the 
mountains, shelters and has made for 
you garments which protect you from 
the heat and garments [i.e., coats of 
mail] which protect you from your 
[enemy in] batde. Thus does He com- 
plete His favor upon you that you 
might submit [to Him] . 



85. And when those who wronged see the 
punishment, it will not be lightened for 
them, nor will they be reprieved. 

86. And when those who associated others 
with God see their "partners," they will 
say, "Our Lord, these are our partners 
[to You] whom we used to invoke be- 
sides You." But they will throw at them 
the statement, "Indeed, you are liars." 

87. And they will impart to God that Day 

[their] submission, and lost from them 
is what they used to invent. 

88. Those who disbelieved and averted 

[others] from the way of God - We will 
increase them in punishment over 
[their] punishment for what corruption 
they were causing. 

89. And [mention] the Day when We will 
resurrect among every nation a witness 
over them from themselves [i.e., their 
prophet]. And We will bring you, [O 
Muhammad], as a witness over these 
[i.e., your nation]. And We have sent 
down to you the Book as clarification 



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for all things and as guidance and mer- 
cy and good tidings for the Muslims. 656 

90. Indeed, God orders justice and good 
conduct and giving to relatives and for- 
bids immorality and bad conduct and 
oppression. He admonishes you that 
perhaps you will be reminded. 

91. And fulfill the covenant of God when 
you have taken it, [O believers], and do 
not break oaths after their confirmation 
while you have made God, over you, a 
security [i.e., witness]. Indeed, God 
knows what you do. 

92. And do not be like she who untwisted 
her spun thread after it was strong [by] 
taking your oaths as [means of] deceit 
between you because one community is 
more plentiful [in number or wealth] 
than another community. 657 God only 
tries you thereby. And He will surely 
make clear to you on the Day of Resur- 
rection that over which you used to dif- 
fer. 

93. And if God had willed, He could have 
made you [of] one religion, but He 
causes to stray whom He wills and 
guides whom He wills. 658 And you will 
surely be questioned about what you 
used to do. 

94. And do not take your oaths as [means 
of] deceit between you, lest a foot slip 
after it was [once] firm, and you would 
taste evil [in this world] for what 
[people] you diverted from the way of 



656 Those who have submitted themselves to 
God. 

657 i.e., do not swear falsely or break a treaty or 
contract merely for a worldly advantage. 

658 According to His knowledge of each soul's 
preference. 



God, 659 and you would have [in the He- 
reafter] a great punishment. 

95. And do not exchange the covenant of 
God for a small price. Indeed, what is 
with God is best for you, if only you 
could know. 

96. Whatever you have will end, but what 
God has is lasting. And We will surely 
give those who were patient their re- 
ward according to the best of what they 
used to do. 

97. Whoever does righteousness, whether 
male or female, while he is a believer - 
We will surely cause him to live a good 
life, and We will surely give them their 
reward [in the Hereafter] according to 
the best of what they used to do. 

98. So when you recite the Qur'an, [first] 
seek refuge in God from Satan, the ex- 
pelled [from His mercy] . 

99. Indeed, there is for him no authority 
over those who have believed and rely 
upon their Lord. 

100. His authority is only over those who 
take him as an ally and those who 
through him associate others with God. 

101. And when We substitute a verse in 
place of a verse - and God is most 
knowing of what He sends down - they 
say, "You, [O Muhammad], are but an 
inventor [of lies]." But most of them 
do not know. 

102. Say, [O Muhammad], "The Pure Spirit 
[i.e., Gabriel] has brought it down from 
your Lord in truth to make firm those 



659 Referring to those who would be dissuaded 
from Islam as a result of a Muslim's deceit and 
treachery. 

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who believe and as guidance and good 
tidings to the Muslims." 

103. And We certainly know that they say, 
"It is only a human being who teaches 
him [i.e., the Prophet]." The tongue of 
the one they refer to is foreign, 660 and 
this [recitation i.e., Qur'an] is [in] a clear 
Arabic language. 

1 04. Indeed, those who do not believe in the 
verses of God - God will not guide 
them, and for them is a painful pu- 
nishment. 

105. They only invent falsehood who do not 
believe in the verses of God, and it is 
those who are the liars. 

106. Whoever disbelieves in [i.e., denies] 
God after his belief. . . 661 except for one 
who is forced [to renounce his religion] 
while his heart is secure in faith. But 
those who [willingly] open their breasts 
to disbelief, upon them is wrath from 
God, and for them is a great punish- 
ment; 

107. That is because they preferred the 
worldly life over the Hereafter and that 
God does not guide the disbelieving 
people. 

108. Those are the ones over whose hearts 
and hearing and vision God has sealed, 
and it is those who are the heedless. 

109. Assuredly, it is they, in the Hereafter, 
who will be the losers. 



660 Having seen the Prophet speaking with a for- 
eign man on occasion, the Quraysh accused him 
of repeating the man's words. 

661 Based upon the conclusion of this verse, the 
omitted phrase concerning the apostate is unders- 
tood to be ". . .has earned the wrath of God. . ." 



110. Then, indeed your Lord, to those who 
emigrated after they had been com- 
pelled [to renounce their religion] and 
thereafter fought [for the cause of God] 
and were patient - indeed, your Lord, 
after that, is Forgiving and Merciful 

111. On the Day when every soul will come 
disputing [i.e., pleading] for itself, and 
every soul will be fully compensated for 
what it did, and they will not be 
wronged [i.e., treated unjusdy], 

112. And God presents an example: a city 

[i.e., Makkah] which was safe and se- 
cure, its provision coming to it in ab- 
undance from every location, but it de- 
nied the favors of God. So God made 
it taste the envelopment of hunger and 
fear for what they had been doing. 

113. And there had certainly come to them a 
Messenger from among themselves, but 
they denied him; so punishment over- 
took them while they were wrongdoers. 

114. Then eat of what God has provided for 
you [which is] lawful and good. And be 
grateful for the favor of God, if it is 
[indeed] Him that you worship. 

115. He has only forbidden to you dead an- 
imals, 662 blood, the flesh of swine, and 
that which has been dedicated to other 
than God. But whoever is forced [by 
necessity], neither desiring [it] nor 
transgressing [its limit] - then indeed, 
God is Forgiving and Merciful. 

116. And do not say about what your ton- 
gues assert of untruth, "This is lawful 
and this is unlawful," to invent false- 
hood about God. Indeed, those who 



662 Those not slaughtered or hunted expressly for 
food. 

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invent falsehood about God will not 
succeed. 

117. [It is but] a brief enjoyment, and they 
will have a painful punishment. 

118. And to those who are Jews We have 
prohibited that which We related to 
you before. 663 And We did not wrong 
them [thereby], but they were wronging 
themselves. 

119. Then, indeed your Lord, to those who 
have done wrong out of ignorance and 
then repent after that and correct 
themselves - indeed, your Lord, the- 
reafter, is Forgiving and Merciful. 

120. Indeed, Abraham was a [comprehen- 
sive] leader, 664 devoudy obedient to 
God, inclining toward truth, and he was 
not of those who associate others with 
God. 



125. Invite to the way of your Lord with 
wisdom and good instruction, and ar- 
gue with them in a way that is best. In- 
deed, your Lord is most knowing of 
who has strayed from His way, and He 
is most knowing of who is [rightly] 
guided. 

126. And if you punish [an enemy, O believ- 
ers], punish with an equivalent of that 
with which you were harmed. 665 But if 
you are patient - it is better for those 
who are patient. 

127. And be patient, [O Muhammad], and 
your patience is not but through God. 
And do not grieve over them and do 
not be in distress over what they con- 
spire. 

128. Indeed, God is with those who fear 
Him and those who are doers of good. 



121. [He was] grateful for His favors. He 
[i.e., God] chose him and guided him to 
a straight path. 

122. And We gave him good in this world, 
and indeed, in the Hereafter he will be 
among the righteous. 

123. Then We revealed to you, [O Muham- 
mad], to follow the religion of Abra- 
ham, inclining toward truth; and he was 
not of those who associate with God. 

124. The sabbath was only appointed for 
those who differed over it. And indeed, 
your Lord will judge between them on 
the Day of Resurrection concerning 
that over which they used to differ. 



663 See 6:146. 

664 i.e., embodying all the excellent qualities which 
make one an example to be followed. 



665 Not exceeding it. 

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Surah 17: al-Isra' 
Period of Revelation 

The very first verse indicates that this Surah was revealed on the occasion of Miraj (Ascension). According to 
the hadith and books on the life of the Prophet this event happened one year before Hijrah. Thus this Surah 
is one of those which were revealed in the last stage of Prophethood at Makkah. 

Background 

The Prophet had been propagating Tawhid (Oneness of God) for the previous twelve years and his oppo- 
nents had been doing all they could to make his Mission a failure but in spite of all their opposition Islam 
had spread to every corner of Arabia and there was hardly any clan which had not been influenced by his 
invitation. In Makkah itself the true Believers had formed themselves into a small community and were ready 
and willing to face every danger to make Islam a success. Besides them a very large number of the people of 
Aws and Khazraj (two influential clans of Madinah) had accepted Islam. Thus the time had come for the 
Prophet to emigrate from Makkah to Madinah and there gather together the scattered Muslims and establish 
a state based on the principles of Islam. 

Theme and Topics 

This Surah is a wonderful combination of warning, admonition and instruction which have been blended 
together in a balanced proportion. The disbelievers of Makkah had been admonished to take a lesson from 
the miserable end of the Israelites and other communities and mend their ways within the period of respite 
given by God, which was about to expire. They should therefore accept the invitation that was being ex- 
tended by Muhammad and the Qur'an; otherwise they shall be annihilated and replaced by other people. 
Incidentally the Israelites with whom Islam was going to come in direct contact with in the near future at 
Madinah have also been warned that they should learn a lesson from the chastisements that have already 
been inflicted on them. They were warned to take advantage of the Prophethood of Muhammad because 
that is the last opportunity which is being given to them. If even now you behave as you have been behaving 
you shall meet with a painful torment. 

As regards the education of mankind it has been stressed that human success or failure gain or loss depends 
upon the right understanding of Tawhid, life-after-death and Prophethood. Accordingly, convincing argu- 
ments have been put forward to prove that the Qur'an is the Book of God and its teachings are true and 
genuine. The doubts of the disbelievers about these basic realities have been removed and on suitable occa- 
sions they have been admonished and rebuked in regard to their ways of ignorance. 

In this connection those fundamental principles of morality and civilization on which the Islamic System of 
life is meant to be established have been put forward. Thus this was a sort of the Manifesto of the intended 
Islamic state which had been proclaimed a year before its actual establishment. It has been explicitly stated 
that that was the sketch of the system on which Prophet Muhammad intended to build human life, first in 
his own country and then in the outside world. Besides these the Prophet has been instructed to stick firmly 
to his stance without minding the opposition and difficulties which he was encountering and should never 
think of making a compromise with unbelief. Moreover, Salat (prayer) was prescribed in order to reform and 
purify their souls as if to say, this is the thing which will produce in you those high qualities of character 
which are essential for everyone who intends to struggle in the righteous way. Incidentally we learn from 
hadith that M'raj was the first occasion on which the five daily Prayers were prescribed to be offered at fixed 
times. 



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Surah 17: al-Isra' 666 



In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, 
the Most Merciful 



Then We gave back to you a return 
victory over them. And We reinforced 
you with wealth and sons and made 
you more numerous in manpower 



1. Exalted 667 is He who took His Servant 
[i.e., Prophet Muhammad] by night 
from al-Masjid al-Haram to al-Masjid 
al-Aqsa, 668 whose surroundings We 
have blessed, to show him of Our 
signs. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the 
Seeing. 

2. And We gave Moses the Scripture and 
made it a guidance for the Children of 
Israel that you not take other than Me 
as Disposer of affairs, 669 

3. O descendants of those We carried [in 
the ship] with Noah. Indeed, he was a 
grateful servant. 

4. And We conveyed 670 to the Children of 
Israel in the Scripture that, "You will 
surely cause corruption on the earth 
twice, and you will surely reach [a de- 
gree of] great haughtiness." 

5. So when the [time of] promise came for 
the first of them, 671 We sent against you 
servants of Ours - those of great mili- 
tary might, and they probed [even] into 
the homes, 672 and it was a promise ful- 
filled. 



666 sAl-Isra: The Night Journey. The Surah is also 
known as Bani Isrd'eel (The Children of Israel). 

667 Above any imperfection or failure to do as He 
wills. 

668 In Jerusalem. 

669 i.e., trust in God, knowing that He is responsi- 
ble for every occurrence. 

670 Foretold out of divine knowledge of what they 
would do. 

671 i.e., the promised punishment for the first of 
their two transgressions. 

672 Violating their sanctity, to kill and plunder. 



7. [And said], "If you do good, you do 
good for yourselves; and if you do evil, 
[you do it] to them [i.e., yourselves]." 
Then when the final [i.e., second] 
promise came, [We sent your enemies] 
to sadden your faces and to enter the 
masjid [i.e., the temple in Jerusalem], as 
they entered it the first time, and to de- 
stroy what they had taken over with 
[total] destruction. 

8. [Then God said], "It is expected, [if you 
repent], that your Lord will have mercy 
upon you. But if you return [to sin], We 
will return [to punishment]. And We 
have made Hell, for the disbelievers, a 
prison-bed." 

9. Indeed, this Qur'an guides to that 
which is most suitable and gives good 
tidings to the believers who do righ- 
teous deeds that they will have a great 
reward. 

10. And that those who do not believe in 
the Hereafter - We have prepared for 
them a painful punishment. 

11. And man supplicates for evil [when 
angry] as he supplicates for good, and 
man is ever hasty. 673 

12. And We have made the night and day 
two signs, and We erased the sign of 
the night and made the sign of the day 
visible 674 that you may seek bounty 
from your Lord and may know the 
number of years and the account [of 



673 i.e., impatient, emotional, and acting without 
forethought. 



674 Q r "giving sight." 

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time]. And everything We have set out 
in detail. 

13. And [for] every person We have im- 
posed his fate upon his neck, 675 and We 
will produce for him on the Day of Re- 
surrection a record which he will en- 
counter spread open. 

14. [It will be said], "Read your record. Suf- 
ficient is yourself against you this Day 
as accountant." 

15. Whoever is guided is only guided for 
[the benefit of] his soul. And whoever 
errs only errs against it. And no bearer 
of burdens will bear the burden of 
another. And never would We punish 
until We sent a messenger. 

16. And when We intend to destroy a city, 
We command its affluent 676 but they 
defiandy disobey therein; so the word 
[i.e., deserved decree] comes into effect 
upon it, and We destroy it with [com- 
plete] destruction. 

17. And how many have We destroyed 
from the generations after Noah. And 
sufficient is your Lord, concerning the 
sins of His servants, as Acquainted and 
Seeing. 

18. Whoever should desire the imme- 
diate 677 - We hasten for him from it 
what We will to whom We intend. 
Then We have made for him Hell, 
which he will [enter to] burn, censured 
and banished. 

19. But whoever desires the Hereafter and 
exerts the effort due to it while he is a 



675 i.e., after having instructed him, We have made 
him responsible for his own destiny. 

676 To obey God. 

677 i.e., worldly gratifications. 



believer - it is those whose effort is ever 
appreciated [by God] . 

20. To each [category] We extend - to these 
and to those - from the gift of your 
Lord. And never has the gift of your 
Lord been restricted. 

21. Look how We have favored [in provi- 
sion] some of them over others. But 
the Hereafter is greater in degrees [of 
difference] and greater in distinction. 

22. Do not make [as equal] with God 
another deity and [thereby] become 
censured and forsaken. 

23. And your Lord has decreed that you 
not worship except Him, and to par- 
ents, good treatment. Whether one or 
both of them reach old age [while] with 
you, say not to them [so much as], 
"uff," 678 and do not repel them but 
speak to them a noble word. 

24. And lower to them the wing of humility 
out of mercy and say, "My Lord, have 
mercy upon them as they brought me 
up [when I was] small." 

25. Your Lord is most knowing of what is 
within yourselves. If you should be 
righteous [in intention] - then indeed 
He is ever, to the often returning [to 
Him], Forgiving. 679 

26. And give the relative his right, and [al- 
so] the poor and the traveler, and do 
not spend wastefully. 680 



678 An expression of disapproval or irritation. 

679 p or those who intend righteousness, hastening 
to repent from sins and errors committed 
through human weakness, God promises for- 
giveness. 

680 i.e., on that which is unlawful or in disobe- 
dience to God. 

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27. Indeed, the wasteful are brothers of the 
devils, and ever has Satan been to his 
Lord ungrateful. 

28. And if you [must] turn away from them 
[i.e., the needy] awaiting mercy from 
your Lord which you expect, 681 then 
speak to them a gentle word. 

29. And do not make your hand [as] 
chained to your neck 682 or extend it 
completely 683 and [thereby] become 
blamed and insolvent. 

30. Indeed, your Lord extends provision 
for whom He wills and restricts [it]. In- 
deed He is ever, concerning His ser- 
vants, Acquainted and Seeing. 

31. And do not kill your children for fear 
of poverty. We provide for them and 
for you. Indeed, their killing is ever a 
great sin. 

32. And do not approach unlawful sexual 
intercourse. 684 Indeed, it is ever an im- 
morality and is evil as a way. 

33. And do not kill the soul [i.e., person] 
which God has forbidden, except by 
right. 685 And whoever is killed unjustly - 
We have given his heir authority, 686 but 
let him not exceed limits in [the matter 
of] taking life. Indeed, he has been 
supported [by the law] . 

34. And do not approach the property of 
an orphan, except in the way that is 



681 i.e., if you have not the means to give them at 
present. 

682 i.e., refusing to spend. 

683 i.e., being extravagant. 

684 i.e., avoid all situations that might possibly lead 
to it. 

685 i.e., through legal justice or duimgjihdd, 

686 Grounds for legal action. 



best, 687 until he reaches maturity. And 
fulfill [every] commitment. Indeed, the 
commitment is ever [that about which 
one will be] questioned. 

35. And give full measure when you meas- 
ure, and weigh with an even [i.e., hon- 
est] balance. That is the best [way] and 
best in result. 

36. And do not pursue 688 that of which you 
have no knowledge. Indeed, the hear- 
ing, the sight and the heart - about all 
those [one] will be questioned. 

37. And do not walk upon the earth exul- 
tantly. Indeed, you will never tear the 
earth [apart], and you will never reach 
the mountains in height. 689 

38. All that [i.e., the aforementioned] - its 
evil is ever, in the sight of your Lord, 
detested. 

39. That is from what your Lord has re- 
vealed to you, [O Muhammad], of wis- 
dom. And, [O mankind], do not make 
[as equal] with God another deity, lest 
you be thrown into Hell, blamed and 
banished. 

40. Then, has your Lord chosen you for 
[having] sons and taken [i.e., adopted] 
from among the angels daughters? In- 
deed, you say a grave saying. 

41. And We have certainly diversified [the 
contents] in this Qur'an that they [i.e., 
mankind] may be reminded, but it does 
not increase them [i.e., the disbelievers] 
except in aversion. 



68 ' i.e., to improve or increase it. 

688 i.e., do not assume and do not say. 

689 Man, for all his arrogance, is yet a weak and 
small creature. 

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42. Say, [O Muhammad], "If there had 
been with Him [other] gods, as they 
say, then they [each] would have sought 
to the Owner of the Throne a way." 690 

43. Exalted is He and high above what they 
say by great sublimity. 

44. The seven heavens and the earth and 
whatever is in them exalt Him. And 
there is not a thing except that it exalts 
[God] by His praise, but you do not 
understand their [way of] exalting. In- 
deed, He is ever Forbearing and For- 
giving. 

45. And when you recite the Qur'an, We 
put between you and those who do not 
believe in the Hereafter a concealed 
partition. 691 

46. And We have placed over their hearts 
coverings, lest they understand it, and 
in their ears deafness. And when you 
mention your Lord alone in the Qur'an, 
they turn back in aversion. 

47. We are most knowing of how they lis- 
ten to it when they listen to you and 
[of] when they are in private conversa- 
tion, when the wrongdoers say, "You 
follow not but a man affected by mag- 
ic." 

48. Look how they strike for you compari- 
sons; 692 but they have strayed, so they 
cannot [find] a way. 

49. And they say, "When we are bones and 
crumbled particles, will we [truly] be re- 
surrected as a new creation?" 

690 To please Him, recognizing His superiority. 
Another interpretation is "...they would seek a 
way" to depose Him and take over His Throne. 

691 Preventing guidance from reaching them. 

692 Describing the Prophet as a poet, a madman 
or one under the influence of sorcery. 



50. Say, "Be you stones or iron 693 

51. Or [any] creation of that which is 
great 694 within your breasts." And they 
will say, "Who will restore us?" Say, 
"He who brought you forth the first 
time." Then they will nod their heads 
toward you 695 and say, "When is that?" 
Say, "Perhaps it will be soon - 

52. On the Day He will call you and you 
will respond with praise of Him and 
think that you had not remained [in the 
world] except for a little." 

53. And tell My servants to say that which 
is best. Indeed, Satan induces [dissen- 
sion] among them. Indeed Satan is ev- 
er, to mankind, a clear enemy. 

54. Your Lord is most knowing of you. If 
He wills, He will have mercy upon you; 
or if He wills, He will punish you. And 
We have not sent you, [O Muhammad] , 
over them as a manager. 

55. And your Lord is most knowing of 
whoever is in the heavens and the 
earth. And We have made some of the 
prophets exceed others [in various 
ways], and to David We gave the book 
[of Psalms]. 

56. Say, "Invoke those you have claimed 
[as gods] besides Him, for they do not 
possess the [ability for] removal of ad- 
versity from you or [for its] transfer [to 
someone else]." 

57. Those whom they invoke 696 seek means 
of access to their Lord, [striving as to] 
which of them would be nearest, and 



693 i.e., even if you should be stones or iron. 

694 Such as the heavens and earth. 

695 In disbelief and ridicule. 

696 Among the righteous of God's creation, such 
as angels, prophets, deceased scholars, etc. 

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they hope for His mercy and fear His 
punishment. Indeed, the punishment of 
your Lord is ever feared. 

58. And there is no city but that We will 
destroy it 697 before the Day of Resur- 
rection or punish it with a severe pu- 
nishment. That has ever been in the 
Register 698 inscribed. 

59. And nothing has prevented Us from 
sending signs [i.e., miracles] except that 
the former peoples denied them. And 
We gave Thamud the she-camel as a 
visible sign, but they wronged her. And 
We send not the signs except as a warn- 
ing. 

60. And [remember, O Muhammad], when 
We told you, "Indeed, your Lord has 
encompassed the people." 699 And We 
did not make the sight which We 
showed you 700 except as a trial for the 
people, as was the accursed tree [men- 
tioned] in the Qur'an. And We threaten 
[i.e., warn] them, but it increases them 
not except in great transgression. 

61. And [mention] when We said to the 
angles, "Prostrate to Adam," and they 
prostrated, except for Iblees. 701 He said, 
"Should I prostrate to one You created 
from clay?" 

62. [Iblees] said, "Do You see this one 
whom You have honoured above me? 
If You delay me [i.e., my death] until 
the Day of Resurrection, I will surely 



697 Because of the sins of its inhabitants. 

698 The Preserved Slate {al-Lawh al-Mahjutti), 
which is with God. 

699 In His knowledge and power, meaning that 
God would protect him from their harm. 

700 During the mi'rdj (ascension) into the heavens. 

701 See footnote to 2:34. 



destroy 702 his descendants, except for a 
few." 

63. [God] said, "Go, for whoever of them 
follows you, indeed Hell will be the re- 
compense of [all of] you - an ample re- 
compense. 

64. And incite [to senselessness] whoever 
you can among them with your voice 
and assault them with your horses and 
foot soldiers and become a partner in 
their wealth and their children and 
promise them." But Satan does not 
promise them except delusion. 

65. Indeed, over My [believing] servants 
there is for you no authority. And suffi- 
cient is your Lord as Disposer of af- 
fairs. 

66. It is your Lord who drives the ship for 
you through the sea that you may seek 
of His bounty. Indeed, He is ever, to 
you, Merciful. 

67. And when adversity touches you at sea, 
lost are [all] those you invoke except 
for Him. But when He delivers you to 
the land, you turn away [from Him], 
And ever is man ungrateful. 

68. Then do you feel secure that [instead] 
He will not cause a part of the land to 
swallow you or send against you a 
storm of stones? Then you would not 
find for yourselves an advocate. 

69. Or do you feel secure that He will not 
send you back into it [i.e., the sea] 
another time and send upon you a hur- 
ricane of wind and drown you for what 
you denied? 703 Then you would not 



702 By tempting them and leading them astray. 

703 Q r "f or y 0ur disbelief." 

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find for yourselves against Us an aven- 



main [there] after you, except for a lit- 
tle. 707 



70. And We have certainly honoured the 
children of Adam and carried them on 
the land and sea and provided for them 
of the good things and preferred them 
over much of what We have created, 
with [definite] preference. 

71. [Mention, O Muhammad], the Day We 
will call forth every people with their 
record [of deeds]. 705 Then whoever is 
given his record in his right hand - 
those will read their records, and injus- 
tice will not be done to them, [even] as 
much as a thread [inside the date seed] . 

72. And whoever is blind 706 in this [life] will 
be blind in the Hereafter and more as- 
tray in way. 

73. And indeed, they were about to tempt 
you away from that which We revealed 
to you in order to [make] you invent 
about Us something else; and then they 
would have taken you as a friend. 

74. And if We had not strengthened you, 
you would have almost inclined to 
them a little. 

75. Then [if you had], We would have 
made you taste double [punishment in] 
life and double [after] death. Then you 
would not find for yourself against Us a 
helper. 

76. And indeed, they were about to pro- 
voke [i.e., drive] you from the land [i.e., 
Makkah] to evict you therefrom. And 
then [when they do], they will not re- 



704 Q r "someone to demand restitution." 

705 Other meanings are "with their leader" or 
"with that which they had followed." 

706 i.e., refusing to see the truth. 



77. [That is Our] established way for those 
We had sent before you of Our mes- 
sengers; and you will not find in Our 
way any alteration. 

78. Establish prayer at the decline of the 
sun [from its meridian] until the dark- 
ness of the night 708 and [also] the 
Qur'an [i.e., recitation] of dawn. 709 In- 
deed, the recitation of dawn is ever 
witnessed. 

79. And from [part of] the night, pray 710 
with it [i.e., recitation of the Qur'an] as 
additional [worship] for you; it is ex- 
pected that 711 your Lord will resurrect 
you to a praised station. 712 

80. And say, "My Lord, cause me to enter a 
sound entrance 713 and to exit a sound 
exit 714 and grant me from Yourself a 
supporting authority." 

81. And say, "Truth has come, and false- 
hood has departed. Indeed is falsehood, 
[by nature], ever bound to depart." 

82. And We send down of the Qur'an that 
which is healing and mercy for the be- 



707 Only ten years after the Prophet's emigration, 
Makkah was completely cleared of his enemies. 

708 i.e., the period which includes the thuhr, asr, 
maghrib, and 'ishd prayers. 

709 i.e., the fajr prayer, in which the recitation of 
the Qur'an is prolonged. 

710 Literally, "arise from sleep for prayer." 

711 This is a promise from God to the Prophet 
Muhammad. 

712 The position of intercession by permission of 
God and the highest degree in Paradise. 

713 Into Madinah at the time of emigration, or 
into the grave. 

714 From Makkah, or from the grave at the time 
of resurrection. 

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83. 



84. 



85. 



86. 



87. 



89. 



90. 



91. 



lievers, but it does not increase the 
wrongdoers except in loss. 

And when We bestow favor upon man 
[i.e., the disbeliever], he turns away and 
distances himself; and when evil touch- 
es him, he is ever despairing. 

Say, "Each works according to his 
manner, but your Lord is most know- 
ing of who is best guided in way." 

And they ask you, [O Muhammad], 
about the soul. Say, "The soul is of the 
affair [i.e., concern] of my Lord. And 
you [i.e., mankind] have not been given 
of knowledge except a litde." 

And if We willed, We could surely do 
away with that which We revealed to 
you. Then you would not find for your- 
self concerning it an advocate against 

Us. 

Except [We have left it with you] as a 
mercy from your Lord. Indeed, His fa- 
vor upon you has ever been great. 

Say, "If mankind and the jinn gathered 
in order to produce the like of this 
Qur'an, they could not produce the like 
of it, even if they were to each other as- 
sistants." 

And We have certainly diversified for 
the people in this Qur'an from every 
[kind of] example, but most of the 
people refused [anything] except disbe- 
lief. 

And they say, "We will not believe you 
until you break open for us from the 
ground a spring 

Or [until] you have a garden of palm 
tress and grapes and make rivers gush 



forth within them in force [and abun- 
dance] 

92. Or you make the heaven fall upon us in 
fragments as you have claimed or you 
bring God and the angels before [us] 

93. Or you have a house of ormnament 
[i.e., gold] or you ascend into the sky. 
And [even then], we will not believe in 
your ascension until you bring down to 
us a book we may read." Say, "Exalted 
is my Lord! Was I ever but a human 
messenger?" 

94. And what prevented the people from 
believing when guidance came to them 
except that they said, "Has God sent a 
human messenger?" 

95. Say, "If there were upon the earth an- 
gels walking securely, 715 We would have 
sent down to them from the heaven an 
angel [as a] messenger." 

96. Say, "Sufficient is God as Witness be- 
tween me and you. Indeed he is ever, 
concerning His servants, Acquainted 
and Seeing." 

97. And whoever God guides - he is the 
[rightly] guided; and whoever He sends 
astray 716 - you will never find for them 
protectors besides Him, and We will 
gather them on the Day of Resurrec- 
tion [fallen] on their faces - blind, dumb 
and deaf. Their refuge is Hell; every 
time it subsides We increase them in 
bla2ing fire. 

98. That is their recompense because they 
disbelieved in Our verses and said, 
"When we are bones and crumbled 



715 i.e., who were settled and established there, as 
is man. 



716 As a result of his own preference. 

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particles, will we [truly] be resurrected 
[in] a new creation?" 

99. Do they not see that God, who created 
the heavens and earth, is [the one] Able 
to create the likes of them? And He has 
appointed for them a term, about 
which there is no doubt. But the 
wrongdoers refuse [anything] except 
disbelief. 

100. Say [to them], "If you possessed the 
depositories of the mercy of my Lord, 
then you would withhold out of fear of 
spending." And ever has man been 
stingy. 

101. And We had certainly given Moses nine 
evident signs, so ask the Children of 
Israel [about] when he came to them 
and Pharaoh said to him, "Indeed I 
think, O Moses, that you are affected 
by magic." 

102. [Moses] said, "You have already known 
that none has sent down these [signs] 
except the Lord of the heavens and the 
earth as evidence, and indeed I think, 717 
O Pharaoh, that you are destroyed." 

103. So he intended to drive them from the 
land, but We drowned him and those 
with him all together. 

104. And We said after him [i.e., Pharaoh] to 
the Children of Israel, "Dwell in the 
land, and when there comes the prom- 
ise [i.e., appointment] of the Hereafter, 
We will bring you forth in [one] gather- 
ing." 



you, [O Muhammad], except as a brin- 
ger of good tidings and a warner. 

106. And [it is] a Qur'an which We have 
separated [by intervals] that you might 
recite it to the people over a prolonged 
period. And We have sent it down pro- 
gressively. 

107. Say, "Believe in it or do not believe. 
Indeed, those who were given know- 
ledge before it 718 - when it is recited to 
them, they fall upon their faces in pro- 
stration, 

108. And they say, "Exalted is our Lord! 
Indeed, the promise of our Lord has 
been fulfilled." 

109. And they fall upon their faces weeping, 
and it [i.e., the Qur'an] increases them 
in humble submission. 

110. Say, "Call upon God or call upon the 
Most Merciful. [al-Rahman], Whichever 
[name] you call - to Him belong the 
best names." And do not recite [too] 
loudly in your prayer or [too] quietly 
but seek between that an [intermediate] 
way. 

111. And say, "Praise to God, who has not 
taken a son and has had no partner in 
[His] dominion and has no [need of a] 
protector out of weakness; and glorify 
Him with [great] glorification." 



105. And with the truth We have sent it [i.e., 
the Qur'an] down, and with the truth it 
has descended. And We have not sent 



' i.e., I am certain. 



718 i.e., the righteous among the People of the 
Scriptures who recognize the truth contained in 
the Qur'an. 

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Surah 18: al-Kahf 

Period of Revelation 

This is the first of those Surahs which were sent down in the third stage of Prophethood at Makkah. We 
have already divided the life of the Prophet at Makkah into four stages in the introduction to Surah 6. Ac- 
cording to that division the third stage lasted from the fifth to the tenth year of Prophethood. What distin- 
guishes this stage from the second and the fourth stages is this: during the second stage the Quraysh mainly 
resorted to ridiculing, scoffing, threatening, tempting, raising objections and making false propaganda against 
the Prophet and his followers in order to suppress the Islamic Movement. But during the third stage they 
employed the weapons of persecution, man handling and economic pressure for the same purpose. So much 
so that a large number of the Muslims had to emigrate from Arabia to Abassinyah and those who remained 
behind were besieged in Shi'ib Abi Talib along with the Prophet and his family. To add to their misery a 
complete social and economic boycott was applied against them. The only redeeming feature was that there 
were two personalities, Abu Talib and Khadijah whose personal influence had been conducive to the support 
of two great families of the Quraysh. However when in the tenth year of Prophethood these two persons 
died the fourth stage began with such severe persecutions as forced the Prophet and all his Companions to 
emigrate from Makkah. 

It appears from the theme of the Surah that it was revealed at the beginning of the third stage when in spite 
of persecutions and opposition the migration to Abassinyah had not yet taken place. That is why the story of 
"Ashab-e-Kahf ' (the Sleepers of the Cave) has been related to comfort and encourage the persecuted Mus- 
lims and to show them how the righteous people have been saving their Faith in the past. 

Subject and Topics 

This Surah was sent down in answer to the three questions which the polytheists of Makkah in consultation 
with the people of the Book had put to the Prophet in order to test him. These were: 

1. Who were "the Sleepers of the Cave?" 

2. What is the real story of Khidr? and 

3. What do you know about Dhul-Qarnain? 

As these three questions and the stories involved concerned the history of the Christians and the Jews and 
were unknown in Hijaz (Arabian Peninsula) a choice of these was made to test whether the Prophet pos- 
sessed any source of the knowledge of the hidden and unseen things. God however not only gave a complete 
answer to their questions but also employed the three stories to the disadvantage of the opponents of Islam 
in the conflict that was going on at that time in Makkah between Islam and unbelief. 

The questioners were told that "the Sleepers of the Cave" believed in the same doctrine of Tawhid (Oneness 
of God) which was being put forward in the Qur'an and that their condition was similar to the condition of 
the persecuted Muslims of Makkah. On the other hand the persecutors of the Sleepers of the Cave had be- 
haved in the same way towards them as the disbelievers of the Quraysh were behaving towards the Muslims. 
The story of the Sleepers of the Cave has also been used to warn the chiefs of Makkah who were persecuting 
the small newly formed Muslim Community. At the same time the Prophet has been instructed that under no 
circumstances should he make a compromise with their persecutors nor should he consider them to be more 
important than his poor followers. On the other hand those chiefs have been admonished that they should 
not be puffed up with the transitory life of pleasure they were then enjoying but should seek after those ex- 
cellences which are permanent and eternal. 



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1 8: The Cave 



Surah 18: al-Kahf 719 

In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, 
the Most Merciful 



1. [All] praise is [due] to God, who has 
sent down upon His Servant [Muham- 
mad] the Book and has not made there- 
in any deviance. 720 

2. [He has made it] straight, to warn of 
severe punishment from Him and to 
give good tidings to the believers who 
do righteous deeds that they will have a 
good reward [i.e., Paradise] 

3. In which they will remain forever 

4. And to warn those who say, "God has 
taken a son." 

5. They have no knowledge of it, 721 nor 
had their fathers. Grave is the word that 
comes out of their mouths; they speak 
not except a lie. 

6. Then perhaps you would kill yourself 
through grief over them, [O Muham- 
mad], if they do not believe in this mes- 
sage, [and] out of sorrow. 

7. Indeed, We have made that which is on 
the earth adornment for it that We may 
test them [as to] which of them is best 
in deed. 

8. And indeed, We will make that which is 
upon it [into] a barren ground. 



719 Al-Kahf. The Cave. 

720 p r om the truth or the straight path. 

721 i.e., they could not have had knowledge of 
something which is not true. 



9. Or have you thought that the compa- 
nions of the cave and the inscription 
were, among Our signs, a wonder? 722 

10. [Mention] when the youths retreated to 
the cave and said, "Our Lord, grant us 
from Yourself mercy and prepare for us 
from our affair right guidance." 

11. So We cast [a cover of sleep] over their 
ears within the cave for a number of 

years. 

12. Then We awakened them that We 
might show which of the two factions 
was most precise in calculating what 
[extent] they had remained in time. 

13. It is We who relate to you, [O Mu- 
hammad], their story in truth. Indeed, 
they were youths who believed in their 
Lord, and We increased them in guid- 
ance. 

14. And We bound [i.e., made firm] their 
hearts when they stood up and said, 
"Our Lord is the Lord of the heavens 
and the earth. Never will we invoke be- 
sides Him any deity. We would have 
certainly spoken, then, an excessive 
transgression. 

15. These, our people, have taken besides 
Him deities. Why do they not bring for 
[worship of] them a clear authority? 
And who is more unjust than one who 
invents about God a lie?" 

16. [The youths said to one another], "And 
when you have withdrawn from them 
and that which they worship other than 
God, retreat to the cave. Your Lord will 
spread out for you of His mercy and 



722 Rather, it is only one of the many wonders of 
God. 

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will prepare for you from your affair fa- 
cility." 

17. And [had you been present], you would 
see the sun when it rose, inclining away 
from their cave on the right, and when 
it set, passing away from them on the 
left, while they were Paying] within an 
open space thereof. That was from the 
signs of God. He whom God guides is 
the [rightly] guided, but he whom He 
leaves astray - never will you find for 
him a protecting guide. 

18. And you would think them awake, 
while they were asleep. And We turned 
them to the right and to the left, while 
their dog stretched his forelegs at the 
entrance. If you had looked at them, 
you would have turned from them in 
flight and been filled by them with ter- 
ror. 

19. And similarly, 723 We awakened them 
that they might question one another. 
Said a speaker from among them, 
"How long have you remained [here]?" 
They said, "We have remained a day or 
part of a day." They said, "Your Lord is 
most knowing of how long you re- 
mained. So send one of you with this 
silver coin of yours to the city and let 
him look to which is the best of food 
and bring you provision from it and let 
him be cautious. And let no one be 
aware of you. 

20. Indeed, if they come to know of you, 
they will stone you or return you to 
their religion. And never would you 
succeed, then - ever." 

21. And similarly, We caused them to be 
found that they [who found them] 
would know that the promise of God is 



1 By the will of God. 



truth and that of the Hour there is no 
doubt. [That was] when they 724 disputed 
among themselves about their affair 
and [then] said, "Construct over them a 
structure. Their Lord is most knowing 
about them." Said those who prevailed 
in the matter, "We will surely take [for 
ourselves] over them a masjid." 725 

22. They [i.e., people] will say there were 
three, the fourth of them being their 
dog; and they will say there were five, 
the sixth of them being their dog - 
guessing at the unseen; and they will say 
there were seven, and the eighth of 
them was their dog. Say, [O Muham- 
mad], "My Lord is most knowing of 
their number. None knows them except 
a few. So do not argue about them ex- 
cept with an obvious argument 726 and 
do not inquire about them among [the 
speculators] from anyone." 

23. And never say of anything, "Indeed, I 
will do that tomorrow," 

24. Except [when adding], "If God wills." 
And remember your Lord when you 
forget [it] and say, "Perhaps my Lord 
will guide me to what is nearer than this 
to right conduct." 

25. And they remained in their cave for 
three hundred years and exceeded by 
nine. 727 

26. Say, "God is most knowing of how 
long they remained. He has [knowledge 
of] the unseen [aspects] of the heavens 
and the earth. How Seeing is He and 
how Hearing! They have not besides 



724 The people of the city. 

725 i.e., we will make this site a place of worship. 

726 i.e., one from the Qur'an, which is the only 
sure argument. 



727 According to the lunar calendar. 

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Him any protector, and He shares not 
His legislation with anyone." 

27. And recite, [O Muhammad], what has 
been revealed to you of the Book of 
your Lord. There is no changer of His 
words, and never will you find in other 
than Him a refuge. 

28. And keep yourself patient [by being] 
with those who call upon their Lord in 
the morning and the evening, seeking 
His countenance. And let not your eyes 
pass beyond them, desiring adornments 
of the worldly life, and do not obey one 
whose heart We have made heedless of 
Our remembrance and who follows his 
desire and whose affair is ever [in] neg- 
lect. 728 

29. And say, "The truth is from your Lord, 
so whoever wills - let him believe; and 
whoever wills - let him disbelieve." In- 
deed, We have prepared for the wrong- 
doers a fire whose walls will surround 
them. And if they call for relief, they 
will be relieved with water like murky 
oil, which scalds [their] faces. Wretched 
is the drink, and evil is the resting place. 

30. Indeed, those who have believed and 
done righteous deeds - indeed, We will 
not allow to be lost the reward of any 
who did well in deeds. 

31. Those will have gardens of perpetual 
residence; beneath them rivers will 
flow. They will be adorned therein with 
bracelets of gold and will wear green 
garments of fine silk and brocade, rec- 
lining therein on adorned couches. Ex- 
cellent is the reward, and good is the 
resting place. 



32. And present to them an example of two 
men: We granted to one of them two 
gardens of grapevines, and We bor- 
dered them with palm trees and placed 
between them [fields of] crops. 

33. Each of the two gardens produced its 
fruit and did not fall short thereof in 
anything. And We caused to gush forth 
within them a river. 

34. And he had fruit, so he said to his 
companion while he was conversing 
with him, "I am greater than you in 
wealth and mightier in [numbers of] 
men." 

35. And he entered his garden while he was 
unjust to himself. 729 He said, "I do not 
think that this will perish - ever. 

36. And I do not think the Hour will occur. 
And even if I should be brought back 
to my Lord, I will surely find better 
than this as a return." 

37. His companion said to him while he 
was conversing with him, "Have you 
disbelieved in He who created you from 
dust and then from a sperm-drop and 
then proportioned you [as] a man? 

38. But as for me, He is God, my Lord, and 
I do not associate with my Lord any- 
one. 

39. And why did you, when you entered 
your garden, not say, 'What God willed 
[has occurred]; there is no power except 
in God'? Although you see me less than 
you in wealth and children, 

40. It may be that my Lord will give me 
[something] better than your garden 
and will send upon it a calamity from 



728 Q r « m excess," exceeding the limits of God. 



729 i.e., proud and ungrateful to God. 

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the sky, and it will become a smooth, 
dusty ground, 

41. Or its water will become sunken [into 
the earth], so you would never be able 
to seek it." 

42. And his fruits were encompassed [by 
ruin], so he began to turn his hands 
about [in dismay] over what he had 
spent on it, while it had collapsed upon 
its trellises, and said, "Oh, I wish I had 
not associated with my Lord any- 
one." 730 

43. And there was for him no company to 
aid him other than God, nor could he 
defend himself. 

44. There 731 the authority is [completely] 
for God, the Truth. He is best in re- 
ward and best in outcome. 

45. And present to them the example of 
the life of this world, [its being] like rain 
which We send down from the sky, and 
the vegetation of the earth mingles with 
it 732 and [then] it becomes dry rem- 
nants, scattered by the winds. And God 
is ever, over all things, Perfect in Abili- 
ty 

46. Wealth and children are [but] adorn- 
ment of the worldly life. But the endur- 
ing good deeds are better to your 
Lord 733 for reward and better for [one's] 
hope. 

47. And [warn of] the Day when We will 
remove the mountains and you will see 

730 He attributed his property to himself rather 
that to God and disbelieved in the account of the 
Hereafter. 

731 i.e., at such a time or on the Day of Judge- 
ment. 

732 Absorbs it, growing lush and thick. 

733 i.e., in His sight or evaluation. 



the earth prominent, 734 and We will 
gather them and not leave behind from 
them anyone. 

48. And they will be presented before your 
Lord in rows, [and He will say], "You 
have certainly come to Us just as We 
created you the first time. But you 
claimed that We would never make for 
you an appointment." 

49. And the record [of deeds] will be placed 
[open], and you will see the criminals 
fearful of that within it, and they will 
say, "Oh, woe to us! What is this book 
that leaves nothing small or great ex- 
cept that it has enumerated it?" And 
they will find what they did present [be- 
fore them]. And your Lord does injus- 
tice to no one. 

50. And [mention] when We said to the 
angels, "Prostrate to Adam," and they 
prostrated, except for Iblees. He was of 
the jinn and departed from [i.e., dis- 
obeyed] the command of his Lord. 
Then will you take him and his descen- 
dants as allies other than Me while they 
are enemies to you? Wretched it is for 
the wrongdoers as an exchange. 

51. I did not make them witness to the cre- 
ation of the heavens and the earth or to 
the creation of themselves, and I would 
not have taken the misguiders as assis- 
tants. 

52. And [warn of] the Day when He will 
say, "Call 'My partners' whom you 
claimed," and they will invoke them, 
but they will not respond to them. And 
We will put between them [a valley of] 
destruction. 



' i.e., bare and exposed. 



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53. And the criminals will see the Fire and 
will be certain that they are to fall there- 
in. And they will not find from it a way 
elsewhere. 

54. And We have certainly diversified in 
this Qur'an for the people from every 
[kind of] example; but man has ever 
been, most of anything, [prone to] dis- 
pute. 

55. And nothing has prevented the people 
from believing when guidance came to 
them and from asking forgiveness of 
their Lord except that there [must] be- 
fall them the [accustomed] precedent of 
the former peoples 735 or that the pu- 
nishment should come [directly] before 
them. 

56. And We send not the messengers ex- 
cept as bringers of good tidings and 
warners. And those who disbelieve dis- 
pute by [using] falsehood to [attempt 
to] invalidate thereby the truth and have 
taken My verses, and that of which they 
are warned, in ridicule. 

57. And who is more unjust than one who 
is reminded of the verses of his Lord 
but turns away from them and forgets 
what his hands have put forth? Indeed, 
We have placed over their hearts cover- 
ings, lest they understand it, and in their 
ears deafness. And if you invite them to 
guidance - they will never be guided, 
then - ever. 

58. And your Lord is the Forgiving, full of 
mercy. If He were to impose blame 
upon them for what they earned, He 
would have hastened for them the pu- 
nishment. Rather, for them is an ap- 



59. 



60. 



61. 



62. 



63. 



64. 



65. 



66. 



pointment from which they will never 
find an escape. 

And those cities - We destroyed them 
when they wronged, and We made for 
their destruction an appointed time. 

And [mention] when Moses said to his 
boy [i.e., servant], "I will not cease 
[traveling] until I reach the junction of 
the two seas or continue for a long pe- 
riod." 

But when they reached the junction 
between them, they forgot their fish, 
and it took its course into the sea, slip- 
ping away. 

So when they had passed beyond it, 
[Moses] said to his boy, "Bring us our 
morning meal. We have certainly suf- 
fered in this, our journey, [much] fati- 
gue." 

He said, "Did you see when we retired 
to the rock? Indeed, I forgot [there] the 
fish. And none made me forget it ex- 
cept Satan - that I should mention it. 
And it took its course into the sea ama- 
zingly." 

[Moses] said, "That is what we were 
seeking." So they returned, following 
their footprints. 

And they found a servant from among 
Our servants [i.e., al-Khidhr] to whom 
We had given mercy from Us and had 
taught him from Us a [certain] know- 
ledge. 

Moses said to him, "May I follow you 
on [the condition] that you teach me 
from what you have been taught of 
sound judgement?" 



735 Who denied the truth brought by God's mes- 
sengers. 



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67. He said, "Indeed, with me you will nev- 
er be able to have patience. 

68. And how can you have patience for 
what you do not encompass in know- 
ledge?" 

69. [Moses] said, "You will find me, if God 
wills, patient, and I will not disobey you 
in [any] order." 

70. He said, "Then if you follow me, do 
not ask me about anything until I make 
to you about it mention [i.e., explana- 
tion]." 

71. So they set out, until when they had 
embarked on the ship, he [i.e., al- 
Khidhr] tore it open. [Moses] said, 
"Have you torn it open to drown its 
people? You have certainly done a 
grave thing." 

72. [Al-Khidhr] said, "Did I not say that 
with me you would never be able to 
have patience?" 

73. [Moses] said, "Do not blame me for 
what I forgot and do not cover me in 
my matter with difficulty." 

74. So they set out, until when they met a 
boy, he [i.e., al-Khidhr] killed him. 
[Moses] said, "Have you killed a pure 
soul for other than [having killed] a 
soul? You have certainly done a deplor- 
able thing." 

75. [Al-Khidhr] said, "Did I not tell you 
that with me you would never be able 
to have patience?" 

76. [Moses] said, "If I should ask you about 
anything after this, then do not keep me 
as a companion. You have obtained 
from me an excuse." 



77. So they set out, until when they came to 
the people of a town, they asked its 
people for food, but they refused to of- 
fer them hospitality. And they found 
therein a wall about to collapse, so he 
[i.e., al-Khidhr] restored it. [Moses] said, 
"If you wished, you could have taken 
for it a payment." 

78. [Al-Khidhr] said, "This is parting be- 
tween me and you. I will inform you of 
the interpretation of that about which 
you could not have patience. 

79. As for the ship, it belonged to poor 
people working at sea. So I intended to 
cause defect in it as there was after 
them a king who sei2ed every [good] 
ship by force. 

80. And as for the boy, his parents were 
believers, and we feared that he would 
overburden them by transgression and 
disbelief. 

81. So we intended that their Lord should 
substitute for them one better than him 
in purity and nearer to mercy. 

82. And as for the wall, it belonged to two 
orphan boys in the city, and there was 
beneath it a treasure for them, and their 
father had been righteous. So your Lord 
intended that they reach maturity and 
extract their treasure, as a mercy from 
your Lord. And I did it not of my own 
accord. That is the interpretation of 
that about which you could not have 
patience." 

83. And they ask you, [O Muhammad], 
about Dhul-Qarnayn. Say, "I will recite 
to you about him a report." 

84. Indeed, We established him upon the 
earth, and We gave him to everything a 
way [i.e., means]. 



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85. So he followed a way 

86. Until, when he reached the setting of 
the sun [i.e., the west], he found it [as ifj 
setting in a spring of dark mud, 736 and 
he found near it a people. We [i.e., 
God] said, "O Dhul-Qarnayn, either 
you punish [them] or else adopt among 
them [a way of] goodness." 

87. He said, "As for one who wrongs, 737 we 
will punish him. Then he will be re- 
turned to his Lord, and He will punish 
him with a terrible punishment [i.e., 
Hellfire]. 



an expenditure that you might make be- 
tween us and them a barrier?" 

95. He said, "That in which my Lord has 
established me is better [than what you 
offer], but assist me with strength [i.e., 
manpower]; I will make between you 
and them a dam. 

96. Bring me sheets of iron" - until, when 
he had leveled [them] between the two 
mountain walls, he said, "Blow [with 
bellows]," until when he had made it 
pike] fire, he said, "Bring me, that I may 
pour over it molten copper." 



88. But as for one who believes and does 
righteousness, he will have a reward of 
the best [i.e., Paradise], and we [i.e., 
Dhul-Qarnayn] will speak to him from 
our command with ease." 

89. Then he followed a way 

90. Until, when he came to the rising of the 
sun [i.e., the east], he found it rising on 
a people for whom We had not made 
against it any shield. 

91. Thus. 738 And We had encompassed [all] 
that he had in knowledge. 

92. Then he followed a way 



97. So they [i.e., Gog and Magog] were un- 
able to pass over it, nor were they able 
[to effect] in it any penetration. 

98. [Dhul-Qarnayn] said, "This is a mercy 
from my Lord; but when the promise 
of my Lord 740 comes [i.e., approaches], 
He will make it level, and ever is the 
promise of my Lord true." 

99. And We will leave them that day 741 
surging over each other, and [then] the 
Horn will be blown, and We will as- 
semble them in [one] assembly. 

100. And We will present Hell that Day to 
the disbelievers, on display - 



93. Until, when he reached [a pass] between 
two mountains, he found beside them a 
people who could hardly understand 
[his] speech. 



101. Those whose eyes had been within a 
cover [removed] from My remem- 
brance, 742 and they were not able to 
hear. 743 



94. They said, "O Dhul-Qarnayn, indeed 
Gog and Magog 739 are [great] corrupters 
in the land. So may we assign for you 

736 Another meaning is "a hot spring." 

737 Persists in disbelief and rebellion. 

738 Such was the affair of Dhul-Qumayn. 

739 Savage tribes who had ravaged large parts of 
central Asia, committing every kind of atrocity. 



102. Then do those who disbelieve think 
that they can take My servants instead 
of Me as allies? Indeed, We have pre- 



740 i.e., the Hour of Resurrection. 

741 The day the dam is destroyed. 

742 i.e., God's signs or the Qur'an. 

743 They refused to listen to the Qur'an or to un- 
derstand it. 



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pared Hell for the disbelievers as a 
lodging. 

103. Say, [O Muhammad], "Shall we [believ- 
ers] inform you of the greatest losers as 
to [their] deeds? 

104. [They are] those whose effort is lost in 
worldly life, while they think that they 
are doing well in work." 

105. Those are the ones who disbelieve in 
the verses of their Lord and in [their] 
meeting Him, so their deeds have be- 
come worthless; and We will not assign 
to them on the Day of Resurrection any 
weight [i.e., importance]. 

106. That is their recompense - Hell - for 
what they denied and [because] they 
took My signs and My messengers in 
ridicule. 

107. Indeed, those who have believed and 
done righteous deeds - they will have 
the Gardens of Paradise 744 as a lodging, 

108. Wherein they abide eternally. They will 
not desire from it any transfer. 

109. Say, "If the sea were ink for [writing] 
the words 745 of my Lord, the sea would 
be exhausted before the words of my 
Lord were exhausted, even if We 
brought the like of it as a supplement." 

110. Say, "I am only a man like you, to 
whom has been revealed that your god 
is one God. So whoever would hope 
for the meeting with his Lord - let him 
do righteous work and not associate in 
the worship of his Lord anyone." 



744 i.e., the highest part of Paradise, al-Firdaus. 

745 The words of God's unlimited knowledge or 
words describing His attributes and His grandeur 
or praise of Him. 

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Surah 19: Maryam 

Period of Revelation 

It was revealed before the Migration to Abassinyah. We learn from authentic hadith that Ja'afar recited v. 1- 
40 of this Surah in the court of Negus when he called the migrants to his court. 

Historical Background 

We have already briefly referred to the conditions of that period in the introduction to Surah al-Kahf. Here 
we shall give rather fuller details of the same conditions which will be helpful in grasping the meaning of this 
Surah and the other Surahs of the period. When the chiefs of the Quraysh felt that they had failed to sup- 
press the Islamic movement by ridicule and sarcasm, by holding out promises and threats and by making 
false accusations they resorted to persecution, beating and economic pressure. They would catch hold of the 
new Muslims of their clans and persecute them, starve them and would even inflict physical torture on them 
in order to coerce them to give up Islam. The most pitiful victims of their persecution were the poor people 
and the slaves and the proteges of the Quraysh. They were beaten black and blue, were imprisoned and kept 
thirsty and hungry and were dragged on the burning sands of Makkah. 

When the conditions became unbearable the Prophet in the month of Rajab of the fifth year of Prophethood 
gave advice to his Companions to this effect: "You may well migrate to Abassinyah for there is a king who does not 
allow any kind of injustice to anyone and there is good in his land. You should remain there till the time that God provides a 
remedy for your affliction. " 

Accordingly at first, eleven men and four women left for Abassinyah. The Quraysh pursued them up to the 
coast but fortunately they got a timely boat for Abassinyah at the sea-port of Shu'aibah and they escaped 
attest. Then after a few months other people migrated to Abassinyah and their number rose to eighty-three 
men and eleven women of the Quraysh and seven non-Quraysh. After this only forty persons were left with 
the Prophet at Makkah. 

There was a great hue and cry in Makkah after this Migration for every family of the Quraysh was adversely 
affected by this. There was hardly a family of the Quraysh which did not lose a son, a son-in-law, a daughter, 
a brother or a sister. For instance there were among the Migrants the near relatives of Abu Jahl, Abu Sufyan 
and other chiefs of the Quraysh who were notorious for their persecution of the Muslims. After the migra- 
tion, the Quraysh held consultations, and decided to send Abdullah bin Abi Rabiy'ah, half brother of Abu 
Jahl, and Amr bin As to Abassinyah with precious gifts so as to persuade Negus to send the migrants back to 
Makkah. Umm Salmah (a wife of the Prophet), who was among the migrants, has related this part of the 
story in detail. She says, 

"When these two clever statesmen of the Quraysh reached Abassinyah, they distributed the gifts among the 
courtiers of the King and persuaded them to recommend strongly to him to send the migrants back. Then 
they saw Negus himself and, presenting rich gifts to him, said, 'Some headstrong brats of our city have come to your 
land and our chiefs have sent us to you with the request that you may kindly send them back. These brats have forsaken our 
faith and have not embraced your faith either, but have invented a new faith'. As soon as they had finished their speech, 
all the courtiers recommended their case, saying, We should send such people back to their city for their people know 
them better. It is not proper for us to keep them here'. At this the King was annoyed and said, 'I am not going to give them 
back without proper inquiry. As these people have put their trust in my country rather than in any other country and have come 
here to take shelter, I will not betray them. At first I will send for them and investigate into the allegations these people have 
made against them. Then I will make my final decision'. Accordingly, the King sent for the Companions of the 
Prophet and asked them to come to his court. 

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When the migrants received the message of the King, they assembled and held consultations as to what they 
should say to the King. At last they came to this unanimous decision: "We will present before the King the teachings 
of the Holy Prophet without adding anything to or withholding anythingfrom them and leave it to him whether he lets us remain 
here or turns us out of his country'. When they came to the court, the King put this problem abruptly before them: 
1 understand that you have given up the faith of your own people and have neither embraced my faith nor any other existing 
faith. I would like to know what your new faith is.' At this, Jafar bin Abi Talib, on behalf of the migrants, made an 
extempore speech to this effect: 'O King! We were sunk deep in ignorance and had become very corrupt; then Muhammad 
(God's peace be upon him) came to us as a Messenger of God, and did his best to reform us. But the Quraysh began to persecute 
his followers, so we have come to your country in the hope that here we will be free from persecution'. After his speech, the 
King said, 'Please recite a piece of the Revelation which has been sent down by God to your Prophet'. In response, Jafar 
recited that portion of Surah Maryam which relates the story of Prophet's John the Baptist and Jesus (God's 
peace be upon them). The King listened to it and wept, so much so that his beard became wet with tears. 
When Jafar finished the recital, he said: Most surely this Revelation and the Message of Jesus have come from the same 
source. By God I will not give you up into the hands of these people '. 

Next day Amr bin As went to Negus and said, Please send for them again and ask them concerning the creed they hold 
about Jesus, the son of Mary, for they say a horrible thing about him'. The King again sent for the migrants, who had 
already learnt about the scheme of Amr. They again sat together and held consultations in regard to the an- 
swer they should give to the King, if he asked about the belief they held about Prophet Jesus. Though this 
was a very critical situation and all of them were uneasy about it, they decided that they would say the same 
thing that God and His Messenger had taught them. Accordingly, when they went to the court, the King put 
them the question that had been suggested by Amr bin As. So Jafar bin Abi Talib stood up and answered 
without the least hesitation: 'He was a Servant of God and His Messenger. He was a Spirit and a Word of God which 
had been sent to virgin Mary. ' At this the King picked up a straw from the ground and said, Py God, Jesus was not worth this 
straw more than what you have said about him. ' After this the King returned the gifts sent by the Quraysh, saying, 'I 
do not take any bribe'. Then he said to the migrants, 'You are allowed to stay here in perfect peace '." 

Theme and Subject 

Keeping in view this historical background it becomes quite obvious that this Surah was sent down to serve 
the migrants as a provision for their journey to Abassinyah, as if to say though you are leaving your country 
as persecuted emigrants to a Christian country you should not in the least hide anything from the teachings 
you have received. Therefore you should plainly say to the Christians that Prophet Jesus was not the son of 
God. 

After relating the story of Prophet's John and Jesus in v. 1 -40 the story of Prophet Abraham has been related 
(v. 41-50) also for the benefit of the Mgrants for he also had been forced like them to leave his country by 
the persecution of his father, his family and his country men. On the one hand this meant to console the 
Emigrants that they were following the footsteps of Prophet Abraham and would attain the same good end 
as that Prophet did. On the other hand it meant to warn the disbeliever of Makkah that they should note it 
well that they were in the position of the cruel people who had persecuted their forefather and leader Abra- 
ham while the Muslim Emigrants were in the position of Prophet Abraham himself. 

Then the mention of the other Prophets has been made in v. 51-65 with a view to impress that Prophet Mu- 
hammad had brought the same way of Life that had been brought by the former Prophets but their followers 
had become corrupt and adopted wrong ways. 

In the concluding passage (v. 66-98) a strong criticism has been made of the evil ways of the disbelievers of 
Makkah while the Believers have been given the good news that they would come out successful and become 
the beloved of the people in spite of the worst efforts of the enemies of the Truth. 



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Surah 19: Maryam 746 

In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, 
the Most Merciful 



[An angel] said, "Thus [it will be]; your 
Lord says, 'It is easy for Me, for I 
created you before, while you were 
nothing.' " 



1 . Kaf, Ha, Ya, Ayn, Sad. 747 

2. [This is] a mention of the mercy of 
your Lord to His servant Zechariah 

3. When he called to his Lord a private 
call [i.e., supplication], 

4. He said, "My Lord, indeed my bones 
have weakened, and my head has 
filled 748 with white, and never have I 
been in my supplication to You, my 
Lord, unhappy [i.e., disappointed]. 

5. And indeed, I fear the successors 749 
after me, and my wife has been barren, 
so give me from Yourself an heir 

6. Who will inherit me 750 and inherit from 
the family of Jacob. And make him, my 
Lord, pleasing [to You]." 

7. [He was told], 751 "O Zechariah, indeed 
We give you good tidings of a boy 
whose name will be John. We have not 
assigned to any before [this] name." 

8. He said, "My Lord, how will I have a 
boy when my wife has been barren and 



I have reached extreme old 



age-' 



746 Maryam; Mary (the mother of Prophet Jesus). 

747 See footnote to 2:1. 

748 Literally, "ignited." The spread of white hair 
throughout the head is likened to that of fire in 
the bush. 

749 Those relatives from the father's side who 
would inherit religious authority. 

750 Inherit from me religious knowledge and pro- 
phethood. 

751 By God through the angels. 



10. [Zechariah] said, "My Lord, make for 
me a sign." He said, "Your sign is that 
you will not speak to the people for 
three nights, [being] sound." 752 

11. So he came out to his people from the 
prayer chamber and signaled to them to 
exalt [God] in the morning and after- 
noon. 

12. [God said], "O John, take the Scripture 
[i.e., adhere to it] with determination." 
And We gave him judgement [while 
yet] a boy 

13. And affection from Us and purity, and 
he was fearing of God 

14. And dutiful to his parents, and he was 
not a disobedient tyrant. 

15. And peace be upon him the day he was 
born and the day he dies and the day he 
is raised alive. 

16. And mention, [O Muhammad], in the 
Book [the story of] Mary, when she 
withdrew from her family to a place 
toward the east. 

17. And she took, in seclusion from them, 
a screen. Then We sent to her Our An- 
gel [i.e., Gabriel], and he represented 
himself to her as a well-proportioned 
man. 

18. She said, "Indeed, I seek refuge in the 
Most Merciful from you, [so leave me], 
if you should be fearing of God." 



752 i.e., without illness or defect. 

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19. He said, "I am only the messenger of 28. 
your Lord to give you [news of] a pure 

boy [i.e., son]." 

20. She said, "How can I have a boy while 29. 
no man has touched me and I have not 

been unchaste?" 



O sister of Aaron, your father was not a 
man of evil, nor was your mother un- 
chaste." 

So she pointed to him. They said, 
"How can we speak to one who is in 
the cradle a child?" 



21. He said, "Thus [it will be]; your Lord 
says, 'It is easy for Me, and We will 
make him a sign to the people and a 
mercy from Us. And it is a matter [al- 
ready] decreed.' " 

22. So she conceived him, and she with- 
drew with him to a remote place. 

23. And the pains of childbirth drove her 
to the trunk of a palm tree. She said, 
"Oh, I wish I had died before this and 
was in oblivion, forgotten." 

24. But he 753 called her from below her, 
"Do not grieve; your Lord has pro- 
vided beneath you a stream. 

25. And shake toward you the trunk of the 
palm tree; it will drop upon you ripe, 
fresh dates. 

26. So eat and drink and be contented. And 
if you see from among humanity any- 
one, say, 'Indeed, I have vowed to the 
Most Merciful abstention, so I will not 
speak today to [any] man.' " 

27. Then she brought him to her people, 
carrying him. They said, "O Mary, you 
have certainly done a thing unprece- 
dented. 



753 There is a difference of opinion among scho- 
lars as to whether "he" refers to the baby or to 
the angel. 



30. [Jesus] said, "Indeed, I am the servant 
of God. He has given me the Scripture 
and made me a prophet. 

31. And He has made me blessed wherever 
I am and has enjoined upon me prayer 
and zakah as long as I remain alive 

32. And [made me] dutiful to my mother, 
and He has not made me a wretched 
tyrant. 

33. And peace is on me the day I was born 
and the day I will die and the day I am 
raised alive." 

34. That is Jesus, the son of Mary - the 
word of truth about which they are in 
dispute. 

35. It is not [befitting] for God to take a 
son; exalted is He! 754 When He decrees 
an affair, He only says to it, "Be," and it 
is. 

36. [Jesus said], "And indeed, God is my 
Lord and your Lord, so worship Him. 
That is a straight path." 

37. Then the factions differed [concerning 
Jesus] from among them, so woe to 
those who disbelieved - from the scene 
of a tremendous Day. 

38. How [clearly] they will hear and see the 
Day they come to Us, but the wrong- 
doers today are in clear error. 

754 i.e., far removed is He from any such need. 

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39. And warn them, [O Muhammad], of 
the Day of Regret, when the matter will 
be concluded; 755 and [yet], they are in [a 
state of] heedlessness, and they do not 
believe. 



43. O my father, indeed there has come to 
me of knowledge that which has not 
come to you, so follow me; I will guide 
you to an even path. 

44. O my father, do not worship [i.e., obey] 
Satan. Indeed Satan has ever been, to 
the Most Merciful, disobedient. 

45. O my father, indeed I fear that there 
will touch you a punishment from the 
Most Merciful so you would be to Sa- 
tan a companion [in Hellfire]." 

46. [His father] said, "Have you no desire 
for my gods, O Abraham? If you do 
not desist, I will surely stone you, so 
avoid me a prolonged time." 

47. [Abraham] said, "Peace [i.e., safety] will 
be upon you. 756 I will ask forgiveness 
for you of my Lord. Indeed, He is ever 
gracious to me. 



755 i.e., "judged" or "accomplished." 

756 Meaning "You are secure" or "I will not harm 
you." 



48. And I will leave you and those you in- 
voke other than God and will invoke 
my Lord. I expect that I will not be in 
invocation to my Lord unhappy [i.e., 
disappointed]." 



40. Indeed, it is We who will inherit the 49. 
earth and whoever is on it, and to Us 

they will be returned. 

41. And mention in the Book [the story of] 
Abraham. Indeed, he was a man of 50. 
truth and a prophet. 

42. [Mention] when he said to his father, 

"O my father, why do you worship that 51 . 

which does not hear and does not see 
and will not benefit you at all? 



So when he had left them and those 
they worshipped other than God, We 
gave him Isaac and Jacob, and each [of 
them] We made a prophet. 

And We gave them of Our mercy, and 
We made for them a mention [i.e., rep- 
utation] of high honour. 

And mention in the Book, Moses. In- 
deed, he was chosen, and he was a 
messenger and a prophet. 757 



52. And We called him from the side of the 
mount 758 at [his] right and brought him 
near, confiding [to him]. 

53. And We gave him out of Our mercy his 
brother Aaron as a prophet. 

54. And mention in the Book, Ishmael. 
Indeed, he was true to his promise, and 
he was a messenger and a prophet. 

55. And he used to enjoin on his people 
prayer and zakah and was to his Lord 
pleasing [i.e., accepted by Him], 

56. And mention in the Book, Idrees. In- 
deed, he was a man of truth and a 
prophet. 

57. And We raised him to a high station. 

58. Those were the ones upon whom God 
bestowed favor from among the 

757 A messenger (rasiil) is one who was charged by 
God to reform society. A prophet (nabi) is one 
who received revelation from God, the latter 
being more numerous than the former. 

758 Mount Sinai. 

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prophets of the descendants of Adam 
and of those We carried [in the ship] 
with Noah, and of the descendants of 
Abraham and Israel [i.e., Jacob], and of 
those whom We guided and chose. 
When the verses of the Most Merciful 
were recited to them, they fell in pro- 
stration and weeping. 

59. But there came after them successors 
[i.e., later generations] who neglected 
prayer and pursued desires; so they are 
going to meet evil 759 - 

60. Except those who repent, believe and 
do righteousness; for those will enter 
Paradise and will not be wronged at all. 

61. [Therein are] gardens of perpetual resi- 
dence which the Most Merciful has 
promised His servants in the unseen. 
Indeed, His promise has ever been 
coming. 760 

62. They will not hear therein any ill speech 
- only [greetings of] peace - and they 
will have their provision therein, morn- 
ing and afternoon. 



Him and have patience for His wor- 
ship. Do you know of any similarity to 
Him?" 

66. And man [i.e., the disbeliever] says, 
"When I have died, am I going to be 
brought forth alive?" 

67. Does man not remember that We 
created him before, while he was noth- 
ing? 

68. So by your Lord, We will surely gather 
them and the devils; then We will bring 
them to be present around Hell upon 
their knees. 762 

69. Then We will surely extract from every 
sect those of them who were worst 
against the Most Merciful in insolence. 

70. Then, surely it is We who are most 
knowing of those most worthy of burn- 
ing therein. 

71. And there is none of you except he will 
come to it. 763 This is upon your Lord 
an inevitability decreed. 



63. That is Paradise, which We give as in- 
heritance to those of Our servants who 
were fearing of God. 



72. Then We will save those who feared 
God and leave the wrongdoers within 
it, on their knees. 



64. [Gabriel said], 761 "And we [angels] des- 
cend not except by the order of your 
Lord. To Him belongs that before us 
and that behind us and what is in be- 
tween. And never is your Lord forget- 
ful - 

65. Lord of the heavens and the earth and 
whatever is between them - so worship 

759 Described as a valley in Hell or may be ren- 
dered "the consequence of error." 

760 Literally, "that to which all will come." 

761 In answer to the Prophet's wish that Gabriel 
would visit him more often. 



73. And when Our verses are recited to 
them as clear evidences, those who dis- 
believe say to those who believe, 
"Which of [our] two parties is best in 
position and best in association?" 764 

74. And how many a generation have We 
destroyed before them who were better 



762 i.e., fallen on their knees from terror or 
dragged there unwillingly on their knees. 

763 i.e., be exposed to it. However, the people of 
Paradise will not be harmed thereby. 

764 In regard to worldly interests. 

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in possessions and [outward] appear- 
ance? 

75. Say, "Whoever is in error - let the Most 
Merciful extend for him an extension 
[in wealth and time] until, when they 
see that which they were promised - ei- 
ther punishment [in this world] or the 
Hour [of resurrection] - they will come 
to know who is worst in position and 
weaker in soldiers." 

76. And God increases those who were 
guided, in guidance, and the enduring 
good deeds are better to your Lord 765 
for reward and better for recourse. 

77. Then, have you seen he who disbe- 
lieved in Our verses and said, "I will 
surely be given wealth and children [in 
the next life]?" 

78. Has he looked into the unseen, or has 
he taken from the Most Merciful a 
promise? 

79. No! We will record what he says and 
extend [i.e., increase] for him from the 
punishment extensively. 

80. And We will inherit him [in] what he 
mentions, 766 and he will come to Us 
alone. 

81. And they have taken besides God 
[false] deities that they would be for 
them [a source of] honour. 

82. No! They [i.e., those "gods"] will deny 
their worship of them and will be 
against them opponents [on the Day of 
Judgement] . 



763 i.e., in the sight or evaluation of God. 
766 Instead of giving him wealth and children in 
the Hereafter, God will take from him those he 
had in worldly life at time of his death. 



83. Do you not see that We have sent the 
devils upon the disbelievers, inciting 
them [to evil] with [constant] incite- 
ment? 

84. So be not impatient over them. We 
only count out [i.e., allow] to them a 
[limited] number. 767 

85. On the Day We will gather the righ- 
teous to the Most Merciful as a delega- 
tion 

86. And will drive the criminals to Hell in 
thirst 

87. None will have [power of] intercession 
except he who had taken from the 
Most Merciful a covenant. 768 

88. And they say, "The Most Merciful has 
taken [for Himself] a son." 

89. You have done an atrocious thing. 

90. The heavens almost rupture therefrom 
and the earth splits open and the 
mountains collapse in devastation 

91. That they attribute to the Most Merci- 
ful a son. 

92. And it is not appropriate for the Most 
Merciful that He should take a son. 

93. There is no one in the heavens and 
earth but that he comes to the Most 
Merciful as a servant. 

94. He has enumerated them and counted 
them a [full] counting. 

95. And all of them are coming to Him on 
the Day of Resurrection alone. 



767 Of breaths, of days, or of evil deeds. 

768 Not to worship other than Him. 

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96. Indeed, those who have believed and 
done righteous deeds - the Most Merci- 
ful will appoint for them affection. 769 

97. So, [O Muhammad], We have only 
made it [i.e., the Qur'an] easy in your 
tongue [i.e., the Arabic language] that 
you may give good tidings thereby to 
the righteous and warn thereby a hos- 
tile people. 

98. And how many have We destroyed 
before them of generations? Do you 
perceive of them anyone or hear from 
them a sound? 



769 p r0 m Himself and from among each other. 

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Surah 20: Ta Ha 

Period of Revelation 

The period of its revelation is the same as of Surah Maryam. It is just possible that it was sent down during 
the Migration to Abassinyah or just after it. Anyhow it is certain that this Surah was revealed before Umar 
embraced Islam. 

According to a well known and authentic hadith when Umar set out to kill the Prophet he met a certain per- 
son who said 'Before you do anything else you should know that your own sister and brother-in-law have embraced Islam' 
Hearing this he directly went to the house of his sister. There he found his sister Fatimah and his brother-in- 
law Said bin Zayd learning the contents of a scroll from Khabbab bin Art. When Fatimah saw him coming 
she hid the scroll at once but Umar had heard the recital so he began to interrogate them about it. Then he 
began to thrash his brother-in-law and wounded his sister who tried to protect him. At last both of them 
confessed 'We have become Muslims; you may do whatever you like!' As Umar was moved to see blood running 
down from her head he said, 'Show me the thingyou were reading! The sister asked him to promise on oath that 
he would not tear it and added 'You cannot touch it unless you have a bath. ' Accordingly , Umar took his bath and 
when he began to read the scroll which contained this Surah he spontaneously spoke out, 'What an excellent 
thing!' At this Khabbab who had hidden himself at the sound of his footsteps came out of his hiding and said, 
'By God I have high expectations that God will get great service from you to propagate the Message of His Prophet for just yes- 
terday I heard the Holy Prophet praying to God My Lord make Abul Hakam bin Hisham (Abujahl) or Umar bin Khat- 
tab a supporter of Islam.'' So Umar turn to God turn to God.' These words proved to be so persuasive that he at 
once accompanied Khabbab and went to the Prophet to embrace Islam. This happened a short time after the 
Migration to Abassinyah. 

Theme and Topics of Discussion 

This Surah begins with the enunciation of the object of the Revelation of the Qur'an to this effect: "O Mu- 
hammad this Qur'an has not been sent down to you to put you unnecessarily to some great affliction. It does 
not demand from you to perform the impossible task of imbuing the hearts of the obdurate disbelievers with 
Faith. It is merely an admonition meant to guide on to the Right Path those who fear God and want to save 
themselves from His punishment. This Qur'an is the Word of the Master of the earth and the heavens and 
God-head belongs to Him aloneThese two facts are eternal whether one believes them or not." 

After this introduction the Surah abruptly moves on to relate the story of Prophet Moses without any appar- 
ent relevancy and without even hinting at its applicability to the events of the period. However if we read 
between the lines we realize that the discourse is addressed very relevantly to the people of Makkah. But be- 
fore we explain the hidden meaning of the discourse we must keep in view the fact that the Arabs in general 
acknowledged Moses as a Prophet of God. This was so because they had "been influenced by the large 
number of the Jews around them and by" the neighbouring Christian kingdoms. Now let us state those 
things which are hidden between the lines of the story: 

1 . God does not appoint a Prophet by the beat of drums or by celebrating the occasion in a regular 
and formal ceremony as if to say We are appointing such and such a person as Our Prophet from 
today. On the contrary He bestows Prophethood in a confidential manner just as He did in the case 
of Prophet Moses. Therefore you should not consider it strange if Muhammad has been appointed 
as a Prophet all of a sudden and without any public proclamation. 

2. The fundamental principles presented by Prophet Muhammad, Tawhid (oneness of God) and the 
Hereafter are just the same as were taught to Prophet Moses at the time of his appointment. 

3. Prophet Muhammad has been made the standard bearer of the Message of the Truth among the 
people of the Quraysh all by himself without material provisions just as Prophet Moses was en- 
trusted with the Mission to go to a tyrant king like Pharaoh and ask him to give up his attitude of 

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rebellion. These are the mysterious ways of God. He catches hold of a way farer of Midian on his 
way to Egypt and says Go and fight with the greatest tyrant of the time. He did not provide him 
with armies and provisions for this Mission. The only thing He did was to appoint his brother as his 
assistant at his request. 

4. You O People of Makkah should note it well that Pharaoh employed the same devices against 
Prophet Moses as you are employing against Prophet Muhammad; frivolous objections accusations 
and cruel persecutions. You should know that God's Prophet came out victorious over Pharaoh 
who possessed large armies and war equipments. Incidentally the Muslims have been consoled and 
comforted though not in so many words that they should not be afraid of fighting with the Quraysh 
against fearful odds for the mission which is supported by God comes out victorious in the end. At 
the same time the Muslims have been exhorted to follow the excellent example of the magicians of 
Egypt who remained steadfast in their Faith though Pharaoh threatened them with horrible ven- 
geance. 

5. An incident from the story of the Israelites has been cited to show in what ridiculous manner the 
idolisation of false gods and goddesses starts and that the Prophets of God do not tolerate even the 
slightest tinge of this preposterous practice. Likewise Prophet Muhammad is following the former 
Prophets in opposing shirk and idol worship today. 

Thus the story of Moses has been used to throw light on all those matters which were connected with the 
conflict between the Prophet and the Quraysh. Then at the end of the story the Quraysh have been briefly 
admonished as if to say The Qur'an has been sent down in your tongue for your own good. If you listen to it 
and follow its admonition, you will be doing so for your own good but if you reject it, you will yourselves 
meet with an evil end." 

After this the story of Prophet Adam has been related, as if to tell the Quraysh, "The way you are following 
is the way of Satan, whereas the right way for a man is to follow his father Adam. He was beguiled by Satan, 
but when he realized his error, he plainly confessed it and repented and again turned back to the service of 
God and won His favor. On the other hand, if a person follows Satan and sticks to his error obdurately in 
spite of admonition, he does harm to himself alone like Satan." 

In the end, the Prophet and the Muslims have been advised not to be impatient in regard to the punishment 
to the disbelievers, as if to say, "God has His Own scheme concerning them. He does not seize them at once 
but gives them sufficient respite. Therefore you should not grow impatient but bear the persecutions with 
fortitude and go on conveying the Message." 

In this connection, great emphasis has been laid on salat so that it may create in the believers the virtues of 
patience, forbearance, contentment, resignation to the will of God and self analysis for these are greatly 
needed in the service of the Message of the Truth. 



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Surah 20: Ta Ha 770 

In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, 
the Most Merciful 

1. Ta, Ha. 771 

2. We have not sent down to you the 
Qur'an that you be distressed 

3. But only as a reminder for those who 
fear [God] - 

4. A revelation from He who created the 
earth and highest heavens, 

5. The Most Merciful [who is] above the 
Throne established. 772 

6. To Him belongs what is in the heavens 
and what is on the earth and what is be- 
tween them and what is under the soil. 



12. Indeed, I am your Lord, so remove 
your sandals. Indeed, you are in the sa- 
cred valley of Tuwa. 

13. And I have chosen you, so listen to 
what is revealed [to you] . 

14. Indeed, I am God. There is no deity 
except Me, so worship Me and estab- 
lish prayer for My remembrance. 

15. Indeed, the Hour is coming - I almost 
conceal it 773 - so that every soul may be 
recompensed according to that for 
which it strives. 

16. So do not let one avert you from it 774 
who does not believe in it and follows 
his desire, for you [then] would perish. 

17. And what is that in your right hand, O 
Moses?" 



7. And if you speak aloud - then indeed, 
He knows the secret and what is [even] 
more hidden. 



18. He said, "It is my staff; I lean upon it, 
and I bring down leaves for my sheep 
and I have therein other uses." 



8. God - there is no deity except Him. To 19. 
Him belong the best names. 

9. And has the story of Moses reached 20. 
you? - 

10. When he saw a fire and said to his 21. 
family, "Stay here; indeed, I have per- 
ceived a fire; perhaps I can bring you a 

torch or find at the fire some guid- 22. 

ance." 

1 1 . And when he came to it, he was called, 

"O Moses, 23. 



[God] said, "Throw it down, O Mos- 



es. 



So he threw it down, and thereupon it 
was a snake, moving swiftly. 

[God] said, "Sei2e it and fear not; We 
will return it to its former condition. 

And draw in your hand to your side; it 
will come out white without disease - 
another sign, 

That We may show you [some] of Our 
greater signs. 



770 Ta Ha: (the letters) ta and ha, 

771 See footnote to 2:1. 

772 i.e., having ascendancy over all creation. See 
footnote to 2:19. 



773 Meaning that God keeps knowledge of the 
Hour hidden from everyone except Himself. 

774 From preparation for the Hour or for the He- 
reafter. 

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24. Go to Pharaoh. Indeed, he has trans- 
gressed [i.e., tyrannized]." 

25. [Moses] said, "My Lord, expand [i.e., 
relax] for me my breast [with assurance] 

26. And ease for me my task 

27. And untie the knot from my tongue 

28. That they may understand my speech. 

29. And appoint for me a minister [i.e., 
assistant] from my family - 

30. Aaron, my brother. 

31. Increase through him my strength 

32. And let him share my task 

33. That we may exalt You much 

34. And remember You much. 

35. Indeed, You are of us ever Seeing." 

36. [God] said, "You have been granted 
your request, O Moses. 

37. And We had already conferred favor 
upon you another time, 

38. When We inspired to your mother 
what We inspired, 

39. [Saying], 'Cast him into the chest and 
cast it into the river, and the river will 
throw it onto the bank; there will take 
him an enemy to Me and an enemy to 
him.' And I bestowed upon you love 
from Me 775 that you would be brought 
up under My eye [i.e., observation and 
care] . 

775 God put love of Moses into the hearts of the 
people. 



40. [And We favored you] when your sister 
went and said, 'Shall I direct you to 
someone who will be responsible for 
him?' So We restored you to your 
mother that she might be content and 
not grieve. And you killed someone, 776 
but We saved you from retaliation and 
tried you with a [severe] trial. And you 
remained [some] years among the 
people of Madyan. Then you came 
[here] at the decreed time, O Moses. 

41 . And I produced you for Myself. 777 

42. Go, you and your brother, with My 
signs and do not slacken in My remem- 
brance. 

43. Go, both of you, to Pharaoh. Indeed, 
he has transgressed. 

44. And speak to him with gentle speech 
that perhaps he may be reminded or 
fear [God]." 

45. They said, "Our Lord, indeed we are 
afraid that he will hasten [punishment] 
against us or that he will transgress." 

46. [God] said, "Fear not. Indeed, I am 
with you both; I hear and I see. 

47. So go to him and say, 'Indeed, we are 
messengers of your Lord, so send with 
us the Children of Israel and do not 
torment them. We have come to you 
with a sign from your Lord. And 
peace 778 will be upon he who follows 
the guidance. 



776 The Copt who died after being struck by Mos- 
es. 

777 God had already selected Moses and made 
him strong in body and character according to 
the requirements of his mission. 

778 i.e., safety and security from God's Punish- 
ment. 

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48. Indeed, it has been revealed to us that 
the punishment will be upon whoever 
denies and turns away.' " 

49. [Pharaoh] said, "So who is the Lord of 
you two, O Moses?" 

50. He said, "Our Lord is He who gave 
each thing its form and then guided 
[it]." 

51. [Pharaoh] said, "Then what is the case 
of the former generations?" 

52. [Moses] said, "The knowledge thereof 
is with my Lord in a record. My Lord 
neither errs nor forgets." 

53. [It is He] who has made for you the 
earth as a bed [spread out] and inserted 
therein for you roadways and sent 
down from the sky, rain and produced 
thereby categories of various plants. 

54. Eat [therefrom] and pasture your lives- 
tock. Indeed, in that are signs for those 
of intelligence. 

55. From it [i.e., the earth] We created you, 
and into it We will return you, and 
from it We will extract you another 
time. 

56. And We certainly showed him [i.e., 
Pharaoh] Our signs - all of them - but 
he denied and refused. 

57. He said, "Have you come to us to drive 
us out of our land with your magic, O 
Moses? 

58. Then we will surely bring you magic 
like it, so make between us and you an 
appointment, which we will not fail to 



keep and neither will you, in a place as- 
signed." 771 ' 

59. [Moses] said, "Your appointment is on 
the day of the festival when the people 
assemble at mid-morning." 780 

60. So Pharaoh went away, put together his 
plan, and then came [to Moses]. 

61. Moses said to them [i.e., the magicians 
summoned by Pharaoh], "Woe to you! 
Do not invent a lie against God or He 
will exterminate you with a punish- 
ment; and he has failed who invents 
[such falsehood]." 

62. So they disputed over their affair 
among themselves and concealed their 
private conversation. 

63. They said, "Indeed, these are two magi- 
cians who want to drive you out of 
your land with their magic and do away 
with your most exemplary way [i.e., re- 
ligion or tradition] . 

64. So resolve upon your plan and then 
come [forward] in line. And he has suc- 
ceeded today who overcomes." 

65. They said, "O Moses, either you throw 
or we will be the first to throw." 

66. He said, "Rather, you throw." And 
suddenly their ropes and staffs seemed 
to him from their magic that they were 
moving [like snakes]. 

67. And he sensed within himself appre- 
hension, did Moses. 



779 Literally, "marked", as to be known. Another 
meaning is "a place midway [between us]" or "a 
level place." 

780 So that the signs of God would be seen clear- 
ly- 

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68. We [i.e., God] said, "Fear not. Indeed, it 
is you who are superior. 

69. And throw what is in your right hand; it 
will swallow up what they have crafted. 
What they have crafted is but the trick 
of a magician, and the magician will not 
succeed wherever he is." 

70. So the magicians fell down in prostra- 
tion. 781 They said, "We have believed in 
the Lord of Aaron and Moses." 

71. [Pharaoh] said, "You believed him [i.e., 
Moses] before I gave you permission. 
Indeed, he is your leader who has 
taught you magic. So I will surely cut 
off your hands and your feet on oppo- 
site sides, and I will crucify you on the 
trunks of palm trees, and you will surely 
know which of us is more severe in 
[giving] punishment and more endur- 
ing." ' ' 

72. They said, "Never will we prefer you 
over what has come to us of clear 
proofs and [over] He who created us. 782 
So decree whatever you are to decree. 
You can only decree for this worldly 
life. 

73. Indeed, we have believed in our Lord 
that He may forgive us our sins and 
what you compelled us [to do] of mag- 
ic. And God is better and more endur- 
ing." 783 

74. Indeed, whoever comes to his Lord as 
a criminal - indeed, for him is Hell; he 
will neither die therein nor live. 



781 After they had seen the miracles which God 
had given Moses and that they were realities and 
not merely impressions of magic. 

782 This phrase has also been interpreted as an 
oath, i.e., ". . .by Him who created us." 

783 In reward and in punishment. 



75. But whoever comes to Him as a believ- 
er having done righteous deeds - for 
those will be the highest degrees [in po- 
sition] : 

76. Gardens of perpetual residence beneath 
which rivers flow, wherein they abide 
eternally. And that is the reward of one 
who purifies himself. 784 

77. And We had inspired to Moses, "Travel 
by night with My servants and strike for 
them a dry path through the sea; you 
will not fear being overtaken [by Pha- 
raoh] nor be afraid [of drowning]." 

78. So Pharaoh pursued them with his sol- 
diers, and there covered them from the 
sea that which covered them, 785 

79. And Pharaoh led his people astray and 
did not guide [them], 

80. O Children of Israel, We delivered you 
from your enemy, and We made an ap- 
pointment with you 786 at the right side 
of the mount, and We sent down to 
you manna and quails, 

81. [Saying], "Eat from the good things 
with which We have provided you and 
do not transgress [or oppress others] 
therein, lest My anger should descend 
upon you. And he upon whom My an- 
ger descends has certainly fallen [i.e., 
perished]." 

82. But indeed, I am the Perpetual Forgiver 
of whoever repents and believes and 
does righteousness and then continues 
in guidance. 

784 p r0 m all uncleanliness, the greatest of which is 
worship and obedience to other than God. 

785 i.e., not only the water but that which only 
God knows — terror, pain, regret, etc. 

786 i.e., with your prophet, to receive the scripture 
for you. 

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83. [God] said, "And what made you has- 
ten from your people, O Moses?" 

84. He said, "They are close upon my 
tracks, and I hastened to You, my Lord, 
that You be pleased." 

85. [God] said, "But indeed, We have tried 
your people after you [departed], and 
the Samirl 787 has led them astray." 

86. So Moses returned to his people, angry 
and grieved. 788 He said, "O my people, 
did your Lord not make you a good 
promise? 789 Then, was the time [of its 
fulfillment] too long for you, or did you 
wish that wrath from your Lord des- 
cend upon you, so you broke your 
promise [of obedience] to me?" 

87. They said, "We did not break our 
promise to you by our will, but we were 
made to carry burdens from the orna- 
ments of the people [of Pharaoh], so 
we threw them [into the fire], and thus 
did the Samirl throw." 

88. And he extracted for them [the statue 
of] a calf which had a lowing sound, 
and they said, "This is your god and the 
god of Moses, but he forgot." 

89. Did they not see that it could not re- 
turn to them any speech [i.e., response] 
and that it did not possess for them any 
harm or benefit? 

90. And Aaron had already told them be- 
fore [the return of Moses], "O my 
people, you are only being tested by it, 

787 Translated as "the Samaritan" (from Samaria), 
a hypocrite among them who led the Children of 
Israel into idol-worship. 

788 The meaning may also be "angry and 
enraged." 

789 That He would send down the Torah, contain- 
ing guidance for you. 



and indeed, your Lord is the Most Mer- 
ciful, so follow me and obey my order." 

91. They said, "We will never cease being 
devoted to it [i.e., the calf] until Moses 
returns to us." 

92. [Moses] said, "O Aaron, what pre- 
vented you, when you saw them going 
astray, 

93. From following me? Then have you 
disobeyed my order?" 

94. [Aaron] said, "O son of my mother, do 
not sei2e [me] by my beard or by my 
head. Indeed, I feared that you would 
say, You caused division among the 
Children of Israel, and you did not ob- 
serve [or await] my word.' " 

95. [Moses] said, "And what is your case, O 
Samiri?" 

96. He said, "I saw what they did not see, 
so I took a handful [of dust] from the 
track of the messenger 790 and threw 
it, 791 and thus did my soul entice me." 

97. [Moses] said, "Then go. And indeed, it 
is [decreed] for you in [this] life to say, 
'No contact.' 792 And indeed, you have 
an appointment [in the Hereafter] you 
will not fail to keep. And look at your 
'god' to which you remained devoted. 
We will surely burn it and blow it [i.e., 
its ashes] into the sea with a blast. 

98. Your god is only God, except for 
whom there is no deity. He has encom- 
passed all things in knowledge." 

790 i.e., a hoof-print in the sand left by the angel 
Gabriel's horse. 

791 Into the fire upon the melted ornaments in 
order to form the calf. 

792 i.e., Do not touch me. As chastisement, he was 
to be completely shunned by all people. 

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99. Thus, [O Muhammad], We relate to 
you from the news of what has pre- 
ceded. And We have certainly given 
you from Us a message [i.e., the 
Qur'an.] 

100. Whoever turns away from it - then in- 
deed, he will bear on the Day of Resur- 
rection a burden [i.e., great sin], 



109. That Day, no intercession will benefit 
except [that of] one to whom the Most 
Merciful has given permission and has 
accepted his word. 

110. He [i.e., God] knows what is [presently] 
before them and what will be after 
them, 797 but they do not encompass it 
[i.e., what He knows] in knowledge. 



101. [Abiding] eternally therein, 793 and evil it 
is for them on the Day of Resurrection 
as a load - 

102. The Day the Horn will be blown. And 
We will gather the criminals, that Day, 
blue-eyed. 794 

103. They will murmur among themselves, 
"You remained not but ten [days in the 
world]." 

1 04. We are most knowing of what they say 
when the best of them in manner [i.e., 
wisdom or speech] will say, "You re- 
mained not but one day." 

105. And they ask you about the mountains, 
so say, "My Lord will blow them away 
with a blast. 795 

106. And He will leave it [i.e., the earth] a 
level plain; 

107. You will not see therein a depression or 
an elevation." 

108. That Day, they [i.e., everyone] will fol- 
low [the call of] the Caller 796 [with] no 
deviation therefrom, and [all] voices 
will be stilled before the Most Merciful, 
so you will not hear except a whisper 
[of footsteps] . 

793 i.e., in the state of sin. 

794 From terror, or blinded completely. 

795 Once they have been reduced to dust. 

796 To the gathering for judgement. 



111. And [all] faces will be humbled before 
the Ever-Living, the Sustainer of exis- 
tence. And he will have failed who car- 
ries injustice. 798 

112. But he who does of righteous deeds 
while he is a believer - he will neither 
fear injustice nor deprivation. 

113. And thus We have sent it down as an 
Arabic Qur'an 799 and have diversified 
therein the warnings that perhaps they 
will avoid [sin] or it would cause them 
remembrance. 

114. So high [above all] is God, the Sove- 
reign, the Truth. And, [O Muhammad], 
do not hasten with [recitation of] the 
Qur'an before its revelation is com- 
pleted to you, and say, "My Lord, in- 
crease me in knowledge." 

115. And We had already taken a promise 
from Adam before, but he forgot; and 
We found not in him determination. 800 

116. And [mention] when We said to the 
angels, "Prostrate to Adam," and they 
prostrated, except Iblees; 801 he refused. 



797 See footnote to 2:255. 

798 i.e., sin or wrongdoing towards God or any of 
His creation. 

799 i.e., revealed in the Arabic language. 

800 To res j s t temptation. 

801 See footnote to 2:34. 



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117. So We said, "O Adam, indeed this is an 
enemy to you and to your wife. Then 
let him not remove you from Paradise 
so you would suffer. 

118. Indeed, it is [promised] for you not to 
be hungry therein or be unclothed. 

119. And indeed, you will not be thirsty 
therein or be hot from the sun." 

120. Then Satan whispered to him; he said, 
"O Adam, shall I direct you to the tree 
of eternity and possession that will not 
deteriorate?" 

121. And they [i.e., Adam and his wife] ate 
of it, and their private parts became ap- 
parent to them, and they began to fas- 
ten over themselves from the leaves of 
Paradise. And Adam disobeyed his 
Lord and erred. 

122. Then his Lord chose him and turned to 
him in forgiveness and guided [him]. 

123. [God] said, "Descend from it [i.e., Pa- 
radise] - all, [your descendants] being 
enemies to one another. And if there 
should come to you guidance from Me 
- then whoever follows My guidance 
will neither go astray [in the world] nor 
suffer [in the Hereafter] . 

124. And whoever turns away from My re- 
membrance - indeed, he will have a de- 
pressed [i.e., difficult] life, and We will 
gather [i.e., raise] him on the Day of 
Resurrection blind." 

125. He will say, "My Lord, why have you 
raised me blind while I was [once] see- 
ing?" 

126. [God] will say, "Thus did Our signs 
come to you, and you forgot [i.e., disre- 



garded] them; and thus will you this 
Day be forgotten." 

127. And thus do We recompense he who 
transgressed and did not believe in the 
signs of his Lord. And the punishment 
of the Hereafter is more severe and 
more enduring. 802 

128. Then, has it not become clear to them 
how many generations We destroyed 
before them as they walk among their 
dwellings? Indeed in that are signs for 
those of intelligence. 

129. And if not for a word 803 that preceded 
from your Lord, it [i.e., punishment] 
would have been an obligation [due 
immediately] , 804 and [if not for] a speci- 
fied term [decreed]. 

130. So be patient over what they say and 
exalt [God] with praise of your Lord 
before the rising of the sun and before 
its setting; and during periods of the 
night [exalt Him] and at the ends of the 
day, that you may be satisfied. 

131. And do not extend your eyes toward 
that by which We have given enjoy- 
ment to [some] categories of them, [its 
being but] the splendor of worldly life 
by which We test them. And the provi- 
sion of your Lord is better and more 
enduring. 

132. And enjoin prayer upon your family 
[and people] and be steadfast therein. 
We ask you not for provision; We pro- 
vide for you, and the [best] outcome is 
for [those of] righteousness. 



802 Than that of this world. 

803 See footnote to 10:19. 

804 God would have punished the disbelievers in 
this world as He did with previous peoples. 

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133. And they say, "Why does he not bring 
us a sign from his Lord?" Has there not 
come to them evidence of what was in 
the former scriptures? 805 

134. And if We had destroyed them with a 
punishment before him, 806 they would 
have said, "Our Lord, why did You not 
send to us a messenger so we could 
have followed Your verses [i.e., teach- 
ings] before we were humiliated and 
disgraced?" 

135. Say, "Each [of us] is waiting; 807 so wait. 
For you will know who are the compa- 
nions of the sound path and who is 
guided." 



805 Is not the Qur'an an adequate proof of Mu- 
hammad's prophethood and sufficient as a lasting 
miracle? 

806 Prophet Muhammad. Also interpreted as "be- 
fore it," i.e., the Qur'an. 

807 p or i i ie outcome of this matter. 



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Surah 21: al-Anbiya' 

Period of Revelation 

Both the subject matter and the style of the Surah indicate that it was sent down in the third stage of the life 
of the Prophet at Makkah (see introduction to Surah 6). 

Subject and Topics 

This Surah discusses the conflict between the Prophet and the chiefs of Makkah which was rampant at the 
time of its Revelation and answers those objections and doubts which were being put forward concerning his 
Prophethood and the doctrines of Tawhid and the Hereafter. The chiefs of Makkah have also been rebuked 
for their machinations against the Prophet and warned of the evil consequences of their wicked activities. 
They have been admonished to give up their indifference and heedlessness that they were showing about the 
Message. At the end of the Surah they have been told that the person whom they considered to be a "distress 
and affliction" had in reality come to them as a blessing. 

Main Themes 

In v. 1-47 the following themes have been discussed in particular : 

1. The objection of the disbelievers that a human being could not be a Messenger and therefore they 
could not accept Muhammad as a Prophet has been refuted. 

2. They have been taken to task for raising multifarious and contradictory objections against the 
Prophet and the Qur'an. 

3. Their wrong conception of life has been proved to be false because it was responsible for their in- 
different and heedless attitude towards the Message of the Prophet. They believed that life was 
merely a sport and pastime and had no purpose behind or before it and there was no accountability 
or reward or punishment. 

4. The main cause of the conflict between the disbelievers and the Prophet was their insistence on the 
doctrine of Shirk (polytheism) and antagonism to the Doctrine of Tawhid (Oneness of God). So 
the doctrine of Shirk has been refuted and the doctrine of Tawhid reinforced by weighty and im- 
pressive though brief arguments. 

5. Arguments and admonitions have been used to remove another misunderstanding of theirs. They 
presumed that Muhammad was a false prophet and his warnings of a scourge from God were emp- 
ty threats just because no scourge was visiting them in spite of their persistent rejection of the 
Prophet. In v. 48-91 instances have been cited from the important events of the life stories of the 
Prophets to show that all the Prophets who were sent by God were human beings and had all the 
characteristics of a man except those which were exclusive to Prophethood. They had no share in 
Godhead and they had to implore God to fulfil each and every necessity of theirs. 

6. All the Prophets had to pass through distress and affliction; their opponents did their worst to 
thwart their mission but in spite of it they came out successful by the extraordinary succour from 
God. 

7. All the Prophets had one and the same 'way of life' the same as was being presented by Muhammad 
and that was the only Right Way of Life and all other ways invented and introduced by mischievous 
people were utterly wrong. 

In v. 92-106 it has been declared that only those who follow the Right Way will come out successful in the 
final judgment of God and those who discard it shall meet with the worst consequences. In v. 107-112 the 
people have been told that it is a great favour of God that He has sent His Messenger to inform them befo- 
rehand of this Reality and that those who consider his coming to be an affliction instead of a blessing are 
foolish people. 

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Surah 21: al-Anbiya' 808 

In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, 
the Most Merciful 

1. [The time of] their account has ap- 
proached for the people, while they are 
in heedlessness turning away. 

2. No mention [i.e., revelation] comes to 
them anew from their Lord except that 
they listen to it while they are at play 

3. With their hearts distracted. And those 
who do wrong conceal their private 
conversation, [saying], "Is this [Proph- 
et] except a human being like you? So 
would you approach magic while you 
are aware [of it]?" 

4. He [the Prophet] said, "My Lord knows 
whatever is said throughout the heaven 
and earth, and He is the Hearing, the 
Knowing." 

5. But they say, "[The revelation is but] a 
mixture of false dreams; rather, he has 
invented it; rather, he is a poet. So let 
him bring us a sign just as the previous 
[messengers] were sent [with miracles]." 

6. Not a [single] city which We destroyed 
believed before them, 809 so will they be- 
lieve? 

7. And We sent not before you, [O Mu- 
hammad], except men to whom We re- 
vealed [the message], so ask the people 
of the message [i.e., former scriptures] 
if you do not know. 



8. And We did not make them [i.e., the 
prophets] forms not eating food, 810 nor 
were they immortal [on earth] . 

9. Then 8 " We fulfilled for them the 
promise, and We saved them and 
whom We willed and destroyed the 
transgressors. 

10. We have certainly sent down to you a 
Book [i.e., the Qur'an] in which is your 
mention. 812 Then will you not reason? 

1 1 . And how many a city which was un- 
just 813 have We shattered and produced 
after it another people. 

12. And when they [i.e., its inhabitants] 
perceived Our punishment, at once 
they fled from it. 

13. [Some angels said], "Do not flee but 
return to where you were given luxury 
and to your homes - perhaps you will 
be questioned." 814 

14. They said, "O woe to us! Indeed, we 
were wrongdoers." 

15. And that declaration of theirs did not 
cease until We made them [as] a harvest 
[mowed down], extinguished pike a 
fire]. 

16. And We did not create the heaven and 
earth and that between them in play. 



808 Al-Anbiya: The Prophets. 

809 Even though they had witnessed signs and 



miracles. 



810 Like the angels. Rather, they were human be- 
ings with human attributes. 

811 Once they had conveyed the message. 

812 This implies the honour of having been men- 
tioned or addressed. Another meaning is "your 
reminder." 

813 i.e., its inhabitants persisting in wrongdoing. 

814 About what happened to you. This is said to 
them in sarcasm and ridicule. 

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17. Had We intended to take a diversion, 815 25. 
We could have taken it from [what is] 

with Us - if [indeed] We were to do so. 

18. Rather, We dash the truth upon false- 
hood, and it destroys it, 816 and thereu- 26. 
pon it departs. And for you is destruc- 
tion from that which you describe. 817 



And We sent not before you any mes- 
senger except that We revealed to him 
that, "There is no deity except Me, so 
worship Me." 

And they say, "The Most Merciful has 
taken a son." Exalted is He! Rather, 
they 819 are [but] honoured servants. 



19. To Him belongs whoever is in the hea- 27. 
vens and the earth. And those near 

Him [i.e., the angels] are not prevented 

by arrogance from His worship, nor do 28. 

they tire. 

20. They exalt [Him] night and day [and] 
do not slacken. 

21. Or have they [i.e., men] taken for them- 
selves gods from the earth who resur- 29. 
rect [the dead]? 

22. Had there been within them [i.e., the 
heavens and earth] gods besides God, 
they both would have been ruined. So 
exalted is God, Lord of the Throne, 30. 
above what they describe. 

23. He is not questioned about what He 
does, but they will be questioned. 



They cannot precede Him in word, and 
they act by His command. 

He knows what is [presendy] before 
them and what will be after them, 820 
and they cannot intercede except on 
behalf of one whom He approves. And 
they, from fear of Him, are apprehen- 
sive. 

And whoever of them should say, "In- 
deed, I am a god besides Him" — that 
one We would recompense with Hell. 
Thus do We recompense the wrong- 
doers. 

Have those who disbelieved not consi- 
dered that the heavens and the earth 
were a joined entity, and We separated 
them and made from water every living 
thing? Then will they not believe? 



24. Or have they taken gods besides Him? 
Say, [O Muhammad], "Produce your 
proof. This [Qur'an] is the message for 
those with me and the message of 
those before me." 818 But most of them 
do not know the truth, so they are turn- 
ing away. 



815 Such as a wife or a child. 

816 Literally, "strikes its brain," disabling or killing 
it. 

817 Of untruth concerning God, particularly here 
the claim that He has a son or other "partner" in 
divinity. 

818 All previous prophets called for the worship 
of God alone. 



31. And We placed within the earth firmly 
set mountains, lest it should shift with 
them, and We made therein [mountain] 
passes [as] roads that they might be 
guided. 

32. And We made the sky a protected ceil- 
ing, but they, from its signs, 821 are turn- 
ing away. 

33. And it is He who created the night and 
the day and the sun and the moon; all 

819 Those they claim to be "children" of God, 
such as the angels, Ezra, Jesus etc. 

820 See footnote to 2:255. 

821 The signs present in the heavens. 

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[heavenly bodies] in an orbit are swim- 
ming. 

34. And We did not grant to any man be- 43. 
fore you eternity [on earth]; so if you 

die - would they be eternal? 

35. Every soul will taste death. And We test 

you with evil and with good as trial; and 44. 

to Us you will be returned. 

36. And when those who disbelieve see 
you, [O Muhammad] , they take you not 
except in ridicule, [saying], "Is this the 
one who mentions [i.e., insults] your 
gods?" And they are, at the mention of 

the Most Merciful, disbelievers. 45. 

37. Man was created of haste [i.e., impa- 
tience]. I will show you My signs [i.e., 
vengeance], so do not impatiently urge 46. 
Me. 

38. And they say, "When is this promise, if 
you should be truthful?" 

47. 

39. If those who disbelieved but knew the 
time when they will not avert the Fire 
from their faces or from their backs 
and they will not be aided... 822 

40. Rather, it will come to them unexpec- 
tedly and bewilder them, and they will 48. 
not be able to repel it, nor will they be 
reprieved. 

41. And already were messengers ridiculed 49. 
before you, but those who mocked 

them were enveloped by what they 
used to ridicule. 



they are, from the remembrance of 
their Lord, turning away. 

Or do they have gods to defend them 
other than Us? They are unable [even] 
to help themselves, nor can they be 
protected from Us. 

But, [on the contrary], We have pro- 
vided good things for these [disbeliev- 
ers] and their fathers until life was pro- 
longed for them. Then do they not see 
that We set upon the land, reducing it 
from its borders? 823 So it is they who 
will overcome? 

Say, "I only warn you by revelation." 
But the deaf do not hear the call when 
they are warned. 

And if [as much as] a whiff of the pu- 
nishment of your Lord should touch 
them, they would surely say, "O woe to 
us! Indeed, we have been wrongdoers." 

And We place the scales of justice for 
the Day of Resurrection, so no soul will 
be treated unjustly at all. And if there is 
[even] the weight of a mustard seed, 824 
We will bring it forth. And sufficient 
are We as accountant. 

And We had already given Moses and 
Aaron the criterion and a light and a 
reminder 825 for the righteous 

Who fear their Lord unseen, 826 while 
they are of the Hour apprehensive. 



42. Say, "Who can protect you at night or 
by day from the Most Merciful?" But 



822 The completion of the sentence is understood 
to be "... .they would not be asking in disbelief 
and ridicule to be shown the punishment." 



823 See footnote to 13:41. 

824 i.e., anything as small or insignificant as a mus- 
tard seed. 

825 These are three qualities of the Torah. 

826 Which can mean "Him being unseen" by them 
or "though they are unseen" by others. 

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50. And this [Qur'an] is a blessed message 
which We have sent down. Then are 
you with it unacquainted? 827 

51. And We had certainly given Abraham 
his sound judgement before, 828 and We 
were of him well- Knowing 

52. When he said to his father and his 
people, "What are these statues to 
which you are devoted?" 

53. They said, "We found our fathers wor- 
shippers of them." 

54. He said, "You were certainly, you and 
your fathers, in manifest error." 

55. They said, "Have you come to us with 
truth, or are you of those who jest?" 

56. He said, "[No], rather, your Lord is the 
Lord of the heavens and the earth who 
created them, and I, to that, am of 
those who testify. 

57. And [I swear] by God, I will surely plan 
against your idols after you have turned 
and gone away." 

58. So he made them into fragments, ex- 
cept a large one among them, that they 
might return to it [and question] . 

59. They said, "Who has done this to our 
gods? Indeed, he is of the wrongdoers." 

60. They said, "We heard a young man 
mention them who is called Abraham." 

61. They said, "Then bring him before the 
eyes of the people that they may testi- 
fy. " 829 

827 i.e., pretending ignorance, disapproving or 
refusing to acknowledge it? 

828 i.e., before Moses. God had guided him from 
early youth. 



62. They said, "Have you done this to our 
gods, O Abraham?" 

63. He said, "Rather, this - the largest of 
them - did it, so ask them, if they 
should [be able to] speak." 

64. So they returned to [blaming] them- 
selves and said [to each other], "Indeed, 
you are the wrongdoers." 

65. Then they reversed themselves, 830 [say- 
ing], "You have already known that 
these do not speak!" 

66. He said, "Then do you worship instead 
of God that which does not benefit you 
at all or harm you? 

67. Uff 831 to you and to what you worship 
instead of God. Then will you not use 
reason?" 

68. They said, "Burn him and support your 
gods — if you are to act." 

69. We [i.e., God] said, "O fire, be coolness 
and safety upon Abraham." 

70. And they intended for him a plan [i.e., 
harm], but We made them the greatest 
losers. 

71. And We delivered him and Lot to the 
land which We had blessed for the 
worlds [i.e., peoples]. 

72. And We gave him Isaac and Jacob in 
addition, and all [of them] We made 
righteous. 



829 To what they heard him say. It may also mean 

" that they may witness [what will be done to 

him as punishment]." 

830 After first admitting to their error, they were 
seized by pride and obstinacy. 

831 An exclamation of anger and displeasure. 

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73. And We made them leaders guiding by 
Our command. And We inspired to 
them the doing of good deeds, estab- 
lishment of prayer, and giving of zakah; 81 . 
and they were worshippers of Us. 

74. And to Lot We gave judgement and 
knowledge, and We saved him from the 
city that was committing wicked deeds. 
Indeed, they were a people of evil, de- 82. 
fiantly disobedient. 

75. And We admitted him into Our mercy. 
Indeed, he was of the righteous. 

83. 

76. And [mention] Noah, when he called 
[to God] 832 before [that time], so We 
responded to him and saved him and 
his family from the great affliction [i.e., 

the flood]. 84. 

77. And We aided [i.e., saved] him from the 
people who denied Our signs. Indeed, 
they were a people of evil, so We 
drowned them, all together. 



your [enemy in] battle. So will you then 
be grateful? 

And to Solomon [We subjected] the 
wind, blowing forcefully, proceeding by 
his command toward the land which 
We had blessed. And We are ever, of all 
things, Knowing. 

And of the devils [i.e., jinn] were those 
who dived for him and did work other 
than that. And We were of them a 
guardian. 835 

And [mention] Job, when he called to 
his Lord, "Indeed, adversity has 
touched me, and you are the Most 
Merciful of the merciful." 

So We responded to him and removed 
what afflicted him of adversity. And 
We gave him [back] his family and the 
like thereof with them as mercy from 
Us and a reminder for the worshippers 
[of God]. 



78. And [mention] David and Solomon, 
when they judged concerning the field - 
when the sheep of a people overran it 
[at night], 833 and We were witness to 
their judgement. 



85. And [mention] Ishmael and Idrees and 
Dhul-Kifl; all were of the patient. 

86. And We admitted them into Our mer- 
cy. Indeed, they were of the righteous. 



79. And We gave understanding of it [i.e., 
the case] to Solomon, and to each [of 
them] We gave judgement and know- 
ledge. And We subjected the mountains 
to exalt [Us], along with David and [al- 
so] the birds. And We were doing 
[that]. 834 



87. And [mention] the man of the fish [i.e., 
Jonah], when he went off in anger 836 
and thought that We would not decree 
[anything] upon him. 837 And he called 
out within the darknesses, 838 "There is 
no deity except You; exalted are You. 



And We taught him the fashioning of 
coats of armor to protect you from 



832 i.e., supplicated against his people who had 
persisted in denial and animosity. See 17:26-28. 

833 Eating and destroying the crops. 

834 Meaning that God has always been capable of 
accomplishing whatever He wills. 



835 Preventing any disobedience or deviation by 
them from Solomon's instructions and protecting 
him from being harmed by them. 

836 At the disbelief of his people. 

837 Or "would not restrict him" in the belly of the 
fish. 

838 That of the night, of the sea, and of the fish's 
interior. 

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Indeed, I have been of the wrong- 95. 

doers." 

88. So We responded to him and saved 

him from the distress. And thus do We 96. 

save the believers. 

89. And [mention] Zechariah, when he 

called to his Lord, "My Lord, do not 97. 

leave me alone [with no heir], while 
You are the best of inheritors." 

90. So We responded to him, and We gave 
to him John, and amended for him his 
wife. Indeed, they used to hasten to 
good deeds and supplicate Us in hope 

and fear, and they were to Us humbly 98. 

submissive. 

91. And [mention] the one who guarded 
her chastity [i.e., Mary], so We blew in- 
to her [garment] through Our angel 99. 
[i.e., Gabriel], and We made her and her 

son a sign for the worlds. 



And there is prohibition upon [the 
people of] a city which We have de- 
stroyed that they will [ever] return 842 

Until when [the dam of] Gog and Ma- 
gog has been opened and they, from 
every elevation, descend 

And [when] the true promise [i.e., the 
resurrection] has approached; then 
suddenly the eyes of those who disbe- 
lieved will be staring [in horror, while 
they say], "O woe to us; we had been 
unmindful of this; rather, we were 
wrongdoers." 

Indeed, you [disbelievers] and what you 
worship other than God are the fire- 
wood of Hell. You will be coming to 
[enter] it. 

Had these [false deities] been [actual] 
gods, they would not have come to it, 
but all are eternal therein. 



92. Indeed this, your religion, is one reli- 
gion, 839 and I am your Lord, so worship 
Me. 

93. And [yet] they divided their affair [i.e., 
that of their relegion] among them- 
selves, 840 [but] all to Us will return. 

94. So whoever does righteous deeds while 
he is a believer — no denial will there 
be for his effort, 841 and indeed We [i.e., 
Our angels], of it, are recorders. 



839 i.e., a collective way of life or course of con- 
duct followed by a community. 

840 Becoming sects and denominations. 

841 Such a person will not be deprived of his due 
reward. 



100. For them therein is heavy sighing, and 
they therein will not hear. 

101. Indeed, those for whom the best [re- 
ward] has preceded from Us — they 
are from it far removed. 

102. They will not hear its sound, while they 
are, in that which their souls desire, ab- 
iding eternally. 

103. They will not be grieved by the greatest 
terror, 843 and the angels will meet them, 
[saying], "This is your Day which you 
have been promised" - 

1 04. The Day when We will fold the heaven 
like the folding of a [written] sheet for 

842 They cannot return to this world, nor can they 
repent to God. 

843 The events of the Last Hour or of the Resur- 
rection. 

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the records. As We began the first crea- 
tion, We will repeat it. [That is] a prom- 
ise binding upon Us. Indeed, We will 
do it. 844 



whose help is sought against that which 
you describe." 849 



105. And We have already written in the 
book [of Psalms] 845 after the [previous] 
mention 846 that the land [of Paradise] is 
inherited by My righteous servants. 

106. Indeed, in this [Qur'an] is notification 
for a worshipping people. 

107. And We have not sent you, [O Mu- 
hammad], except as a mercy to the 
worlds. 

108. Say, "It is only revealed to me that your 
god is but one God; so will you be 
Muslims [in submission to Him]?" 

109. But if they turn away, then say, "I have 
announced to [all of] you equally. 847 
And I know not whether near or far is 
that which you are promised. 

110. Indeed, He knows what is declared of 
speech, and He knows what you con- 
ceal. 

111. And I know not; perhaps it 848 is a trial 
for you and enjoyment for a time." 

112. [The Prophet] has said, "My Lord, 
judge [between us] in truth. And our 
Lord is the Most Merciful, the one 



844 More literally, "Indeed, We are ever doers" of 
what We will. 

84s y^^-Zabur can also mean "scriptures" in gener- 
al. 

846 i.e., the Torah. The "mention" may also refer 
to the original inscription with God, i.e., the Pre- 
served Slate (al-~Lan>h alMahfuth). 

847 The Prophet made this message known to all 
people, not concealing any of it from anyone or 
preferring any group over another. 

848 The postponement of punishment. 



849 i.e., their lies and disbelief. 

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Surah 22: al-Hajj 

Period of Revelation 

As this Surah contains the characteristics of both the Makki and the Madani Surahs the commentators have 
differed as to its period of revelation but in the light of its style and themes we are of the opinion that a part 
of it (v. 1 -24) was sent down in the last stage of the Makki life of the Prophet a little before migration and the 
rest (v. 25-78) during the first stage of his Madani life. That is why this Surah combines the characteristics of 
both the Makki and the Madani Surahs. 

According to Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Qatadah and other great commentators, v. 39 is the first verse that grants 
the Muslims permission to wage war. Collections of hadith and books on the life of the Prophet confirm that 
after this permission actual preparations for war were started and the first expedition was sent to the coast of 
the Red Sea in Safar 2 A.H. which is known as the Expedition of Waddan or Al-Abwa. 

Subject Matter and Theme 

This Surah is addressed to: 

1 . The polytheists of Makkah 

2. the wavering Muslims and 

3. the True Believers. 

The polytheists have been warned in a forceful manner to this effect: "You have obdurately and impudently 
persisted in your ideas of ignorance and trusted in your deities instead of God though they possess no power 
at all and you have repudiated the Divine Messenger. Now you will meet the same end as has been the doom 
of those like you before. You have only harmed yourselves by rejecting Our Prophet and by persecuting the 
best element of your own community; now your false deities shall not be able to save you from the wrath of 
God." At the same time they have been admonished time and again for their creed of Shirk (polytheism) and 
sound arguments have been given in favour of Tawhid and the Hereafter. The wavering Muslims who had 
embraced Islam but were not prepared to endure any hardship in its way have been admonished to this ef- 
fect: "What is this faith of yours? On the one hand you are ready to believe in God and become His servants 
provided you are given peace and prosperity but on the other if you meet with afflictions and hardships in 
His Way you discard your God and cease to remain His servant. You should bear in mind that this wavering 
attitude of yours cannot avert those misfortunes and losses which God has ordained for you." 

As regards the true Believers they have been addressed in two ways: 

1 . in a general way so as to include the common people of Arabia also and 

2. in an exclusive way. 

The Believers have been told that the polytheists of Makkah had no right to debar them from visiting the 
Holy Mosque. They had no right to prevent anyone from performing Hajj because the Holy Mosque was not 
their private property. This objection was not only justified but it also acted as an effective political weapon 
against the Quraysh. For it posed this question to the other clans of Arabia: Were the Quraysh mere atten- 
dants of the Holy Mosque or its owners? It implied that if they succeeded in debarring the Muslims from 
Hajj without any protest from others, they would feel encouraged in future to debar from Hajj and Umrah 
the people of any other clan, who happened to have strained relations with the Quraysh. In order to emphas- 
ize this point, the history of the construction of the Holy Mosque has been cited to show that it was built by 
Prophet Abraham by the Command of God and he had invited all the peoples to perform Hajj there. That is 
why those coming from outside had enjoyed equal rights by the local people from the very beginning. It has 

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also been made clear that that House had not been built for the rituals of shirk but for the worship of One 
God. Thus it was sheer tyranny that the worship of God was being forbidden there while the worship of 
idols enjoyed full licence 

In order to counteract the tyranny of the Quraysh, the Muslims were allowed to fight with them. They were 
also given instructions to adopt the right and just attitude as and when they acquired power to rule in the 
land. Moreover, the Believers have been officially given the name of "Muslims" saying, "You are the real 
heirs to Abraham and you have been chosen to become witnesses of the Truth before mankind. Therefore 
you should establish salat and pay the zakat dues in order to become the best models of righteous life and 
perform Jihad for propagating the Word of God (v. 41,77, 78.) It will be worth while to keep in view the 
introductions to Surahs 2 (al-Baqarah) and 8 (al Anfal). 



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Surah 22: al-Hajj 850 

In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, 
the Most Merciful 

1 . O mankind, fear your Lord. Indeed, the 
convulsion of the [final] Hour is a ter- 
rible thing. 

2. On the Day you see it every nursing 
mother will be distracted from that 
[child] she was nursing, and every 
pregnant woman will abort her preg- 
nancy, and you will see the people [ap- 
pearing] intoxicated while they are not 
intoxicated; but the punishment of 
God is severe. 

3. And of the people is he who disputes 
about God without knowledge and fol- 
lows every rebellious devil. 

4. It has been decreed for him [i.e., every 
devil] that whoever turns to him - he 
will misguide him and will lead him to 
the punishment of the Bla2e. 

5. O People, if you should be in doubt 
about the Resurrection, then [consider 
that] indeed, We created you from dust, 
then from a sperm-drop, then from a 
clinging clot, and then from a lump of 
flesh, formed and unformed 851 — that 
We may show you. 852 And We setde in 
the wombs whom We will for a speci- 
fied term, then We bring you out as a 
child, and then [We develop you] that 
you may reach your [time of] maturity. 
And among you is he who is taken in 
[early] death, and among you is he who 
is returned to the most decrepit [old] 
age so that he knows, after [once hav- 



10. 



11. 



12. 



ing] knowledge, nothing. And you see 
the earth barren, but when We send 
down upon it rain, it quivers and swells 
and grows [something] of every beauti- 
ful kind. 

That is because God is the Truth and 
because He gives life to the dead and 
because He is over all things competent 

And [that they may know] that the 
Hour is coming — no doubt about it — 
and that God will resurrect those in the 
graves. 

And of the people is he who disputes 
about God without knowledge or guid- 
ance or an enlightening book [from 
Him], 

Twisting his neck [in arrogance] to mis- 
lead [people] from the way of God. For 
him in the world is disgrace, and We 
will make him taste on the Day of Re- 
surrection the punishment of the Burn- 
ing Fire [while it is said], 

"That is for what your hands have put 
forth and because God is not ever un- 
just to [His] servants." 

And of the people is he who worships 
God on an edge. 853 If he is touched by 
good, he is reassured by it; but if he is 
struck by trial, he turns on his face [to 
the other direction]. He has lost [this] 
world and the Hereafter. That is what 
is the manifest loss. 

He invokes instead of God that which 
neither harms him nor benefits him. 
That is what is the extreme error. 



850 Al-Hajj: The pilgrimage. 

851 That which is incomplete. This may include 
what is aborted at that stage. 

852 Our power and creative ability. 



853 At the edge of his religion, so to speak, i.e.. 
with uncertainty, hypocrisy or heedlessness. 

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13. He invokes one whose harm is closer 
than his benefit — how wretched the 
protector and how wretched the asso- 
ciate. 

14. Indeed, God will admit those who be- 
lieve and do righteous deeds to gardens 
beneath which rivers flow. Indeed, 
God does what He intends. 

15. Whoever should think that God will 
not support him [i.e., Prophet Mu- 
hammad] in this world and the Hereaf- 
ter — let him extend a rope to the ceil- 
ing, then cut off [his breath], 854 and let 
him see: will his effort remove that 
which enrages [him]? 



19. These 856 are two adversaries who have 
disputed over their Lord. But those 
who disbelieved will have cut out for 
them garments of fire. Poured upon 
their heads will be scalding water 

20. By which is melted that within their 
bellies and [their] skins. 

21. And for [striking] them are maces of 
iron. 

22. Every time they want to get out of it 
[i.e., Hellfire] from anguish, they will be 
returned to it, and [it will be said], 
"Taste the punishment of the Burning 
Fire!" 



16. And thus have We sent it [i.e., the 
Qur'an] down as verses of clear evi- 
dence and because God guides whom 
He intends. 

17. Indeed, those who have believed and 
those who were Jews and the Sabeans 
and the Christians and the Magians and 
those who associated with God - God 
will judge between them on the Day of 
Resurrection. Indeed God is, over all 
things, Witness. 

18. Do you not see [i.e., know] that to God 
prostrates whoever is in the heavens 
and whoever is on the earth and the 
sun, the moon, the stars, the moun- 
tains, the trees, the moving creatures 
and many of the people? But upon 
many the punishment has been justi- 
fied. 855 And he whom God humiliates — 
for him there is no bestower of ho- 
nour. Indeed, God does what He wills. 



854 i.e., strangle himself. 
853 And therefore decreed. 



23. Indeed, God will admit those who be- 
lieve and do righteous deeds to gardens 
beneath which rivers flow. They will be 
adorned therein with bracelets of gold 
and pearl, and their garments therein 
will be silk. 

24. And they had been guided [in worldly 
life] to good speech, and they were 
guided to the path of the Praiseworthy. 

25. Indeed, those who have disbelieved 
and avert [people] from the way of 
God and [from] al-Masjid al-Haram, 
which We made for the people — equal 
are the resident therein and one from 
outside - and [also] whoever intends [a 
deed] therein 857 of deviation [in reli- 
gion] or wrongdoing — We will make 
him taste of a painful punishment. 

26. And [mention, O Muhammad], when 
We designated for Abraham the site of 

856 i.e., the believers and the disbelievers. 

857 Whether inside its boundaries or intending 
from afar to do evil therein. The Haram is unique 
in that the mere intention of sin therein (whether 
or not it is actually carried out) is sufficient to 
bring punishment from God. 

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the House, [saying], "Do not associate 
anything with Me and purify My House 
for those who perform tawaf 858 and 
those who stand [in prayer] and those 
who bow and prostrate. 

27. And proclaim to the people the hajj 
[pilgrimage]; they will come to you on 
foot and on every lean camel; they will 
come from every distant pass — 

28. That they may witness [i.e., attend] 
benefits for themselves and mention 
the name of God on known [i.e., spe- 
cific] days over what He has provided 
for them of [sacrificial] animals. 859 So 
eat of them and feed the miserable and 
poor. 

29. Then let them end their untidiness and 
fulfill their vows and perform tawaf 
around the ancient House." 

30. That [has been commanded], and 
whoever honours the sacred ordinances 
of God — it is best for him in the sight 
of his Lord. And permitted to you are 
the grazing livestock, except what is re- 
cited to you. 860 So avoid the uncleanli- 
ness of idols and avoid false statement, 

31. Inclining [only] to God, not associating 
[anything] with Him. And he who asso- 
ciates with God — it is as though he had 
fallen from the sky and was snatched 
by the birds or the wind carried him 
down into a remote place. 

32. That [is so]. And whoever honours the 
symbols [i.e., rites] of God - indeed, it 
is from the piety of hearts. 



33. For you therein [i.e., the animals 
marked for sacrifice] are benefits for a 
specified term; 861 then their place of sa- 
crifice is at the ancient House. 862 

34. And for all religion We have appointed 
a rite [of sacrifice] 863 that they may 
mention the name of God over what 
He has provided for them of [sacrifi- 
cial] animals. For your god is one God, 
so to Him submit. And, [O Muham- 
mad], give good tidings to the humble 
[before their Lord] 

35. Who, when God is mentioned, their 
hearts are fearful, and [to] the patient 
over what has afflicted them, and the 
establishers of prayer and those who 
spend from what We have provided 
them. 

36. And the camels and cattle We have 
appointed for you as among the sym- 
bols [i.e., rites] of God; for you therein 
is good. So mention the name of God 
upon them when lined up [for sacri- 
fice]; and when they are pifeless] on 
their sides, then eat from them and 
feed the needy [who does not seek aid] 
and the beggar. Thus have We sub- 
jected them to you that you may be 
grateful. 

37. Their meat will not reach God, nor will 
their blood, but what reaches Him is 
piety from you. Thus have We sub- 
jected them to you that you may glorify 
God for that [to] which He has guided 
you; and give good tidings to the doers 
of good. 



858 See footnote to 2:125. 

859 Al-An'dnr. camels, cattle, sheep and goats. 

860 See 5:3. 



861 i.e., they may be milked or ridden (in the case 
of camels) before the time of slaughter. 

862 i.e., within the boundaries of the Haram, 
which includes Mina. 

863 i.e., the right to sacrifice has always been a part 
of God's revealed religion. 

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38. Indeed, God defends those who have 
believed. Indeed, God does not like 
everyone treacherous and ungrateful. 

39. Permission [to fight] has been given to 
those who are being fought, 864 because 
they were wronged. And indeed, God 
is competent to give them victory. 

40. [They are] those who have been evicted 
from their homes without right — only 
because they say, "Our Lord is God." 
And were it not that God checks the 
people, some by means of others, there 
would have been demolished monaste- 
ries, churches, synagogues, and mos- 
ques in which the name of God is 
much mentioned [i.e., praised]. And 
God will surely support those who 
support Him [i.e., His cause]. Indeed, 
God is Powerful and Exalted in Might. 

41. [And they are] those who, if We give 
them authority in the land, establish 
prayer and give zakah and enjoin what 
is right and forbid what is wrong. And 
to God belongs the outcome of [all] 
matters. 

42. And if they deny you, [O Muhammad] 
- so, before them, did the people of 
Noah and Aad and Thamud deny 
[their prophets], 

43. And the people of Abraham and the 
people of Lot 

44. And the inhabitants of Madyan. And 
Moses was denied, so I prolonged en- 
joyment for the disbelievers; then I 
seized them, and how [terrible] was My 
reproach. 

45. And how many a city did We destroy 
while it was committing wrong — so it 



864 Referring here to the Prophet's companions. 



is [now] fallen into ruin 865 — and [how 
many] an abandoned well and [how 
many] a lofty palace. 866 

46. So have they not traveled through the 
earth and have hearts by which to rea- 
son and ears by which to hear? For in- 
deed, it is not eyes that are blinded, but 
blinded are the hearts which are within 
the breasts. 

47. And they urge you to hasten the pu- 
nishment. But God will never fail in 
His promise. And indeed, a day with 
your Lord is like a thousand years of 
those which you count. 

48. And for how many a city did I prolong 
enjoyment while it was committing 
wrong. Then I seized it, and to Me is 
the [final] destination. 

49. Say, "O people, I am only to you a 
clear warner." 

50. And those who have believed and done 
righteous deeds — for them is forgive- 
ness and noble provision. 

51. But the ones who strove against Our 
verses, [seeking] to cause failure 867 — 
those are the companions of Hellfire. 

52. And We did not send before you any 
messenger or prophet except that when 
he spoke [or recited], Satan threw into 
it [some misunderstanding]. But God 
abolishes that which Satan throws in; 



865 Literally, "fallen in upon its roofs," i.e., after 
the roofs of its buildings had caved in, the walls 
collapsed over them. 

866 i.e., How many wells have been left inopera- 
tive, and how many palaces have been emptied of 
their occupants in the past. 

867 i.e., trying to undermine their credibility and 
thereby defeat the Prophet. 

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then God makes precise His verses. 868 
And God is Knowing and Wise. 

53. [That is] so He may make what Satan 
throws in [i.e., asserts] a trial for those 
within whose hearts is disease 869 and 
those hard of heart. And indeed, the 
wrongdoers are in extreme dissension. 

54. And so those who were given know- 
ledge may know that it is the truth 
from your Lord and [therefore] believe 
in it, and their hearts humbly submit to 
it. And indeed is God the Guide of 
those who have believed to a straight 
path. 

55. But those who disbelieve will not cease 
to be in doubt of it until the Hour 
comes upon them unexpectedly or 
there comes to them the punishment of 
a barren Day. 870 

56. [All] sovereignty that Day is for 
God; 871 He will judge between them. 
So they who believed and did righteous 
deeds will be in the Gardens of Plea- 
sure. 

57. And they who disbelieved and denied 
Our signs — for those there will be a 
humiliating punishment. 

58. And those who emigrated for the cause 
of God and then were killed or died — 
God will surely provide for them a 
good provision. And indeed, it is God 
who is the best of providers. 



59. He will surely cause them to enter an 
entrance with which they will be 
pleased, and indeed, God is Knowing 
and Forbearing. 

60. That [is so]. And whoever responds [to 
injustice] with the equivalent of that 
with which he was harmed and then is 
tyrannized — God will surely aid him. 
Indeed, God is Pardoning and Forgiv- 
ing. 872 

61. That 873 is because God causes the night 
to enter the day and causes the day to 
enter the night and because God is 
Hearing and Seeing. 

62. That is because God is the Truth, and 
that which they call upon other than 
Him is falsehood, and because God is 
the Most High, the Grand. 

63. Do you not see that God has sent 
down rain from the sky and the earth 
becomes green? Indeed, God is Subtle 
and Acquainted. 874 

64. To Him belongs what is in the heavens 
and what is on the earth. And indeed, 
God is the Free of need, the Praisewor- 
thy. 

65. Do you not see that God has subjected 
to you whatever is on the earth and the 
ships which run through the sea by His 
command? And He restrains the sky 
from falling upon the earth, unless by 
His permission. Indeed God, to the 
people, is Kind and Merciful. 



868 Clarifying those issues which were misunders- 
tood to remove any doubt. 

869 See footnote to 2:10. 

870 One which will not be followed by night and 
therefore will not give birth to a new day, refer- 
ring to the Day of Resurrection. 

871 None will compete with Him for authority at 
that time. 



872 In spite of His ability to take vengeance. The 
statement contains a suggestion that the believers 
pardon as well. 

873 i.e., God's capability to give assistance or vic- 
tory to the oppressed. 

874 With His creation and with the needs of His 
creatures. 



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66. And He is the one who gave you life; 73. 
then He causes you to die and then will 

[again] give you life. Indeed, mankind is 
ungrateful. 

67. For every religion We have appointed 
rites which they perform. So, [O Mu- 
hammad], let them [i.e., the disbeliev- 
ers] not contend with you over the 
matter but invite them to your Lord. 74. 
Indeed, you are upon straight guidance. 

68. And if they dispute with you, then say, 

"God is most knowing of what you do. 75. 

69. God will judge between you on the 
Day of Resurrection concerning that 

over which you used to differ." 76. 

70. Do you not know that God knows 
what is in the heaven and earth? In- 
deed, that is in a Record. 875 Indeed that, 

for God, is easy. 77. 

71. And they worship besides God that for 
which He has not sent down authority 

and that of which they have no know- 78. 

ledge. And there will not be for the 
wrongdoers any helper. 

72. And when Our verses are recited to 
them as clear evidences, you recogni2e 
in the faces of those who disbelieve 
disapproval. They are almost on the 
verge of assaulting those who recite to 
them Our verses. Say, "Then shall I in- 
form you of [what is] worse than 
that? 876 [It is] the Fire which God has 
promised those who disbelieve, and 
wretched is the destination." 



O people, an example is presented, so 
listen to it. Indeed, those you invoke 
besides God will never create [as much 
as] a fly, even if they gathered together 
for it [i.e., that purpose]. And if the fly 
should steal from them a [tiny] thing, 
they could not recover it from him. 
Weak are the pursuer and pursued. 877 

They have not appraised God with true 
appraisal. 878 Indeed, God is Powerful 
and Exalted in Might. 

God chooses from the angels messen- 
gers and from the people. Indeed, God 
is Hearing and Seeing. 

He knows what is [presently] before 
them and what will be after them. 879 
And to God will be returned [all] mat- 
ters. 

O you who have believed, bow and 
prostrate and worship your Lord and 
do good — that you may succeed. 

And strive for God with the striving 
due to Him. He has chosen you and 
has not placed upon you in the religion 
any difficulty. [It is] the religion of your 
father, Abraham. He [i.e., God] named 
you "Muslims" before [in former scrip- 
tures] and in this [revelation] that the 
Messenger may be a witness over you 
and you may be witnesses over the 
people. So establish prayer and give 
zakah and hold fast to God. He is your 
protector; and excellent is the protec- 
tor, and excellent is the helper. 



875 The Preserved Slate {al-hawh al-MahfittB), 
which is with God. 

876 i.e., worse than the rage you feel against those 
who recite God's verses or worse than your 
threats against them. 



877 A comparison is made here to the worshipper 
of a false deity and that which he worships. 

878 They have not assessed Him with the assess- 
ment due to Him, meaning that they did not take 
into account His perfect attributes. 

879 See footnote to 2:255. 

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Surah 23: al-Mu'minun 

Period of Revelation 

Both its style and theme indicate that it was revealed during the middle stage of Prophethood at Makkah. 
Reading between the lines one feels that a bitter conflict had begun between the Prophet and the disbelievers 
of Makkah though the persecution by them had not yet become tyrannical. It appears that the Surah was sent 
down during the climax of the "Famine" in Makkah (v. 75-76) which according to authentic traditions oc- 
curred during the middle stage of Prophethood. Moreover, according to a tradition related by 'Urwah bin 
Zubair, Hadarat Umar who had embraced Islam by that time said, 'This Surah was revealed in my presence and I 
myself observed the state of the Holy Prophet during its revelation. When the revelation ended the Holy Prophet remarked 'On 
this occasion ten such verses have been sent down to me that the one who measures up to them will most surely go to Paradise'. 
Then he recited the initial verses of the Surah. (Ahmad and Tirmidhi) 

Theme Topics 

The central theme of the Surah is to invite the people to accept and follow the Message of the Prophet and 
the whole Surah revolves round this theme. 



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Surah 23: al-Mu'minun 880 

In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, 
the Most Merciful 

1. Certainly will the believers have suc- 
ceeded: 



14. Then We made the sperm-drop into a 
clinging clot, and We made the clot into 
a lump [of flesh], and We made [from] 
the lump, bones, and We covered the 
bones with flesh; then We developed 
him into another creation. So blessed is 
God, the best of creators. 884 



2. They who are during their prayer hum- 
bly submissive 

3. And they who turn away from ill 
speech 

4. And they who are observant of 2akah 

5. And they who guard their private parts 

6. Except from their wives or those their 
right hands possess, 881 for indeed, they 
will not be blamed - 

7. But whoever seeks beyond that, then 
those are the transgressors — 

8. And they who are to their trusts and 
their promises attentive 

9. And they who carefully maintain their 
prayers — 

1 0. Those are the inheritors 

1 1 . Who will inherit al-Firdaus. 882 They will 
abide therein eternally. 

12. And certainly did We create man from 
an extract of clay. 

13. Then We placed him as a sperm- 
drop 883 in a firm lodging [i.e., the 
womb] . 



880 Al- Mu'miniin: The Believers. 

881 Female slaves or captives under their owner- 
ship. 

882 The highest part of Paradise. 



15. Then indeed, after that you are to die. 

16. Then indeed you, on the Day of Resur- 
rection, will be resurrected. 

17. And We have created above you seven 
layered heavens, and never have We 
been of [Our] creation unaware. 

18. And We have sent down rain from the 
sky in a measured amount and settled it 
in the earth. And indeed, We are Able 
to take it away. 

19. And We brought forth for you thereby 
gardens of palm trees and grapevines in 
which for you are abundant fruits and 
from which you eat. 

20. And [We brought forth] a tree issuing 
from Mount Sinai which produces oil 
and food [i.e., olives] for those who eat. 

21. And indeed, for you in livestock is a 
lesson. We give you drink from that 
which is in their bellies, and for you in 
them are numerous benefits, and from 
them you eat. 

22. And upon them and on ships you are 
carried. 

23. And We had certainly sent Noah to his 
people, and he said, "O my people, 
worship God; you have no deity other 
than Him; then will you not fear Him?" 



883 Q r " as a zygote." 

884 i.e., the most skilful and only true Creator. 

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24. But the eminent among those who dis- 
believed from his people said, "This is 
not but a man like yourselves who 
wishes to take precedence over you; 
and if God had willed [to send a mes- 
senger], He would have sent down an- 
gels. We have not heard of this among 
our forefathers. 

25. He is not but a man possessed with 
madness, so wait concerning him for a 
time." 



32. And We sent among them a messen- 
ger 886 from themselves, [saying], "Wor- 
ship God; you have no deity other than 
Him; then will you not fear Him?" 

33. And the eminent among his people 
who disbelieved and denied the meet- 
ing of the Hereafter while We had giv- 
en them luxury in the worldly life said, 
"This is not but a man like yourselves. 
He eats of that from which you eat and 
drinks of what you drink. 



26. [Noah] said, "My Lord, support me 34. 
because they have denied me." 

27. So We inspired to him, "Construct the 

ship under Our observation, and Our 35. 

inspiration, and when Our command 
comes and the oven overflows, 885 put 
into it [i.e., the ship] from each [crea- 
ture] two mates and your family, except 
those for whom the decree [of destruc- 36. 

tion] has proceeded. And do not ad- 
dress Me concerning those who have 
wronged; indeed, they are to be 37. 

drowned. 

28. And when you have boarded the ship, 

you and those with you, then say, 38. 

'Praise to God who has saved us form 
the wrongdoing people.' 



And if you should obey a man like 
yourselves, indeed, you would then be 
losers. 

Does he promise you that when you 
have died and become dust and bones 
that you will be brought forth [once 
more]? 

How far, how far, is that which you are 
promised. 887 

It [i.e., life] is not but our worldly life — 
we die and live, but we will not be re- 
surrected. 

He is not but a man who has invented a 
lie about God, and we will not believe 
him." 



29. And say, 'My Lord, let me land at a 
blessed landing place, and You are the 
best to accommodate [us].' " 

30. Indeed in that are signs, and indeed, 
We are ever testing [Our servants]. 

3 1 . Then We produced after them a gener- 
ation of others. 



39. He said, "My Lord, support me because 
they have denied me." 

40. [God] said, "After a little, they will 
surely become regretful." 

41. So the shriek 888 seized them in truth, 889 
and We made them as [plant] stubble. 



885 See footnote to 11:40. 



886 Prophet Hud, who was sent to the tribe of 
'Aad. 

887 i.e., how distant and improbable it is. 



888 See footnote to 11:67. 

889 i.e., by right or in justice. 

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23: The Believers 



Then away with the wrongdoing 
people. 

42. Then We produced after them other 
generations. 

43. No nation will precede its time [of ter- 
mination], nor will they remain [the- 
reafter] . 

44. Then We sent Our messengers in suc- 
cession. Every time there came to a na- 
tion its messenger, they denied him, so 
We made them follow one another [to 
destruction], and We made them narra- 
tions. 890 So away with a people who do 
not believe. 

45. Then We sent Moses and his brother 
Aaron with Our signs and a clear au- 
thority 

46. To Pharaoh and his establishment, but 
they were arrogant and were a haughty 
people. 

47. They said, "Should we believe two men 
like ourselves while their people are for 
us in servitude?" 

48. So they denied them and were of those 
destroyed. 

49. And We certainly gave Moses the 
Scripture that perhaps they 891 would be 
guided. 

50. And We made the son of Mary and his 
mother a sign and sheltered them with- 
in a high ground having level [areas] 
and flowing water. 

51. [God said], "O messengers, eat from 
the good foods and work righteous- 



890 i.e., history or lessons for mankind. 

891 The Children of Israel. 



ness. Indeed I, of what you do, am 
Knowing. 

52. And indeed this, your religion, is one 
religion, 892 and I am your Lord, so fear 
Me." 

53. But they [i.e., the people] divided their 
religion among them into portions [i.e., 
sects] - each faction, in what it has, 893 
rejoicing. 

54. So leave them in their confusion for a 
time. 

55. Do they think that what We extend to 
them of wealth and children 

56. Is [because] We hasten for them good 
things? Rather, they do not perceive. 894 

57. Indeed, they who are apprehensive 
from fear of their Lord 

58. And they who believe in the signs of 
their Lord 

59. And they who do not associate any- 
thing with their Lord 

60. And they who give what they give while 
their hearts are fearful 895 because they 
will be returning to their Lord — 

61. It is those who hasten to good deeds, 
and they outstrip [others] therein. 

62. And We charge no soul except [with 
that within] its capacity, and with Us is 
a record which speaks with truth; and 
they will not be wronged. 



892 See footnote to 21:92. 

893 Of beliefs, opinions, customs, etc. 

894 That the good things given to them in this 
world are but a trial for them. 

895 Lest their deeds not be acceptable. 

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63. But their hearts are covered with con- 
fusion over this, and they have [evil] 
deeds besides that [i.e., disbelief] which 
they are doing, 



72. Or do you, [O Muhammad], ask them 
for payment? But the reward of your 
Lord is best, and He is the best of pro- 
viders. 



64. Until when We seize their affluent ones 
with punishment, 896 at once they are 



65. 



66. 



67. 



68. 



69. 



70. 



71. 



crying [to God] for help. 

Do not cry out today. Indeed, by Us 
you will not be helped. 

My verses had already been recited to 
you, but you were turning back on your 
heels 

In arrogance regarding it, 897 conversing 
by night, speaking evil. 

Then have they not reflected over the 
word [i.e., the Qur'an], or has there 
come to them that which had not come 
to their forefathers? 



Or did they not know their Messenger, 
so they are toward him disacknowledg- 
ing? 

Or do they say, "In him is madness?" 
Rather, he brought them the truth, but 
most of them, to the truth, are averse. 

But if the Truth [i.e., God] had fol- 
lowed their inclinations, the heavens 
and the earth and whoever is in them 
would have been ruined. Rather, We 
have brought them their message, 898 
but they, from their message, are turn- 
ing away. 



896 In worldly life, before the punishment of the 
Hereafter. Although general, the description in- 
cludes specifically the punishment of the Quraysh 
by famine. 

897 The revelation. Or "him," i.e., the Prophet. 

898 Q r "reminder." 



73. And indeed, you invite them to a 
straight path. 

74. But indeed, those who do not believe 
in the Hereafter are deviating from the 
path. 

75. And even if We gave them mercy and 
removed what was upon them of afflic- 
tion, they would persist in their trans- 
gression, wandering blindly. 

76. And We had gripped them with suffer- 
ing [as a warning], but they did not 
yield to their Lord, nor did they humbly 
supplicate, [and will continue thus] 

77. Until when We have opened before 
them a door of severe punishment, 
immediately they will be therein in des- 
pair. 

78. And it is He who produced for you 
hearing and vision and hearts [i.e., intel- 
lect]; little are you grateful. 

79. And it is He who has multiplied you 
throughout the earth, and to Him you 
will be gathered. 

80. And it is He who gives life and causes 
death, and His is the alternation of the 
night and the day. Then will you not 
reason? 

81. Rather, 899 they say like what the former 
peoples said. 



899 Instead of understanding or reasoning. 

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82. They said, "When we have died and 
become dust and bones, are we indeed 
to be resurrected? 

83. We have been promised this, we and 
our forefathers, before; this is not but 
legends of the former peoples." 

84. Say, [O Muhammad], "To whom be- 
longs the earth and whoever is in it, if 
you should know?" 

85. They will say, "To God." Say, "Then 
will you not remember?" 

86. Say, "Who is Lord of the seven heavens 
and Lord of the Great Throne?" 

87. They will say, "[They belong] to God." 
Say, "Then will you not fear Him?" 

88. Say, "In whose hand is the realm of all 
things — and He protects while none 
can protect against Him — if you should 
know?" 



94. My Lord, then do not place me among 
the wrongdoing people." 

95. And indeed, We are able to show you 
what We have promised them. 

96. Repel, by [means of] what is best, 
[their] evil. We are most knowing of 
what they describe. 

97. And say, "My Lord, I seek refuge in 
You from the incitements of the devils, 

98. And I seek refuge in You, my Lord, lest 
they be present with me." 

99. [For such is the state of the disbeliev- 
ers], until, when death comes to one of 
them, he says, "My Lord, send me back 

100. That I might do righteousness in that 
which I left behind." 900 No! It is only a 
word he is saying; and behind them is a 
barrier until the Day they are resur- 
rected. 



89. They will say, "[All belongs] to God." 
Say, "Then how are you deluded?" 

90. Rather, We have brought them the 
truth, and indeed they are liars. 

91. God has not taken any son, nor has 
there ever been with Him any deity. [If 
there had been], then each deity would 
have taken what it created, and some of 
them would have sought to overcome 
others. Exalted is God above what they 
describe [concerning Him], 

92. [He is] Knower of the unseen and the 
witnessed, so high is He above what 
they associate [with Him], 



101. So when the Horn is blown, no rela- 
tionship will there be among them that 
Day, nor will they ask about one anoth- 



1 02. And those whose scales are heavy [with 
good deeds] — it is they who are the 
successful. 

103. But those whose scales are light — those 
are the ones who have lost their souls, 
[being] in Hell, abiding eternally. 

104. The Fire will sear their faces, and they 
therein will have taut smiles. 901 



93. Say, [O Muhammad], "My Lord, if You 
should show me that which they are 
promised, 



900 Q r "j n that which I neglected." 

901 Their lips having been contracted by scorching 
until the teeth are exposed. 

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23: The Believers 



105. [It will be said]. "Were not My verses 
recited to you and you used to deny 
them?" 

106. They will say, "Our Lord, our wret- 
chedness overcame us, and we were a 
people astray. 

107. Our Lord, remove us from it, and if we 
were to return [to evil], we would in- 
deed be wrongdoers." 

108. He will say, "Remain despised therein 
and do not speak to Me. 



117. And whoever invokes besides God 
another deity for which he has no 
proof — then his account is only with 
his Lord. Indeed, the disbelievers will 
not succeed. 

118. And, [O Muhammad], say, "My Lord, 
forgive and have mercy, and You are 
the best of the merciful." 



109. Indeed, there was a party of My ser- 
vants who said, 'Our Lord, we have be- 
lieved, so forgive us and have mercy 
upon us, and You are the best of the 
merciful.' 

110. But you took them in mockery to the 
point that they made you forget My 
remembrance, and you used to laugh at 
them. 

111. Indeed, I have rewarded them this Day 
for their patient endurance — that they 
are the attainers [of success]." 

112. [God] will say, "How long did you re- 
main on earth in number of years?" 

113. They will say, "We remained a day or 
part of a day; ask those who enume- 
rate." 

114. He will say, "You stayed not but a little 
— if only you had known. 

115. Then did you think that We created you 
uselessly and that to Us you would not 
be returned?" 

116. So exalted is God, the Sovereign, the 
Truth; there is no deity except Him, 
Lord of the Noble Throne. 



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Surah 24: an-Nur 

Period of Revelation 

The consensus of opinion is that it was sent down after the Campaign against Bani al-Mustaliq and this is 
confirmed by v. 11-20 that deal with the incident of the "Slander" which occurred during that Campaign. But 
there is a difference of opinion as to whether this Campaign took place in 5 A.H. before the Battle of the 
Trench or in 6 A.H. after it. 

Historical Background 

Now let us review the circumstances existing at the time of the revelation of this Surah. It should be kept in 
mind that the incident of the "Slander" which was the occasion of its revelation was closely connected with 
the conflict between Islam and the disbelievers. 

After the victory at Badr the Islamic movement began to gain strength day by day; so much so that by the 
time of the Battle of the Trench it had become so strong that the united forces of the enemy numbering 
about ten thousand failed to crush it and had to raise the siege of Madinah after one month. It meant this 
and both the parties understood it well that the war of aggression which the Disbelievers had been waging 
for several years had come to an end. The Prophet himself declared: "After this year the Quraysh will not be able to 
attackyou; now you will take the offensive. " 

When the disbelievers realized that they could not defeat Islam on the battlefield they chose the moral front 
to carry on the conflict. It cannot be said with certainty whether this change of tactics was the outcome of 
deliberate consultations or it was the inevitable result of the humiliating retreat in the Battle of the Trench 
for which all the available forces of the enemy had been concentrated: They knew it well that the rise of 
Islam was not due to the numerical strength of the Muslims, nor to their superior arms and ammunition and 
not to their greater material resources; nay the Muslims were fighting against fearful odds on all these fronts. 
They owed their success to their moral superiority. Their enemies realized that the pure and noble qualities 
of the Prophet and his followers were capturing the hearts of the people and were also binding them togeth- 
er into a highly disciplined community. As a result of this they were defeating the polytheists and the Jews 
both on the peace and on the war front because the latter lacked discipline and character. 

Under the above mentioned circumstances the wicked designs of the disbelievers led them to start a cam- 
paign of vilification against the Prophet and the Muslims in order to destroy the bulwark of morale that was 
helping them to defeat their enemies. Therefore the strategy was to attain the assistance of the hypocrites to 
spread slanders against the Prophet and his followers so that the polytheists and the Jews could exploit these 
to sow the seeds of discord among the Muslims and undermine their discipline. 

The first opportunity for the use of the new strategy was afforded in Dhul-Qa'dah 5 A.H. when the Prophet 
married Zainab (daughter of Jahsh) who was the divorced wife of his adopted son Zayd bin Harithah. The 
Prophet had arranged this marriage in order to put an end to the custom of ignorance which gave the same 
status to the adopted son that was the right only of the son from one's own loins. The hypocrites however 
considered it a golden opportunity to vilify the Prophet from inside the community and the Jews and the 
polytheists exploited it from outside to ruin his high reputation by this malicious slander. For this purpose 
fantastic stories were concocted and spread to this effect: "One day Muhammad happened to see the wife of his 
adopted son and fell in love with her; he manouvered her divorce and married her. " Though this was an absurd fiction it 
was spread with such skill, cunning and artfulness that it succeeded in its purpose; so much so that some 
Muslim traditionalists and commentators also have cited some parts of it in their writings and the orientalists 
have exploited these fully to vilify the Prophet. As a matter of fact Zainab was never a stranger to the Proph- 
et that he should see her by chance and fall in love with her at first sight. For she was his first cousin being 
the daughter of his real paternal aunt Umaimah daughter of Abdul Muttalib. He had known her from her 

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childhood to her youth. A year before this incident, he himself had persuaded her against her will to marry 
Zayd in order to demonstrate practically that the Quraysh and the liberated slaves were equal as human be- 
ing. As she never reconciled herself to her marriage, they could not pull on together for long, which inevita- 
bly led to her divorce. The above mentioned facts were well known to all, yet the slanderers succeeded in 
their false propaganda with the result that even today there are people who exploit these things to defame 
Islam 

The second slander was made on the honour of A'isha, a wife of the Prophet, in connection with an incident 
which occurred while he was returning from the Campaign against Bani al-Mustaliq. As this attack was even 
severer than the first one and was the main background of this Surah, we shall deal with it in greater detail. 

Let us say a few words about Abdullah bin Ubayy, who played the part of a villain in this attack. He belonged 
to the clan of Khazraj and was one of the most important chiefs of Madinah. The people had even intended 
to make him their king a little before the Prophet's migration there, but the scheme had to be dropped be- 
cause of the changed circumstances. Though he had embraced Islam, he remained at heart a hypocrite and 
his hypocrisy was so manifest that he was called the "Chief of the Hypocrites." He never lost any opportuni- 
ty to slander Islam in order to take his revenge. 

Now the main theme. When in Sha'aban 6 A.H. the Prophet learned that the people of Bani al-Mustaliq were 
making preparations for a war against the Muslims and were trying to muster other clans also for this pur- 
pose, he fore-stalled and took the enemy by surprise. After capturing the people of the clan and their belong- 
ings, the Prophet made a halt near Muraisi, a spring in their territory. One day a dispute concerning taking 
water from the spring started between a servant of Umar and an ally of the clan of Khazraj, and developed 
into a quarrel between the Muhajirs (immigrants) and the Ansar (Muslims of Madina), but was soon settled. 
This, however, did not suit the strategy of Abdullah bin Ubayy, who also had joined the expedition with a 
large number of hypocrites. So he began to incite the Ansar, saying, 'You yourselves brought these people of the 
Quraysh from Makkah and made them partners in your wealth and properly. And now they have become your rivals and want 
domination over you. If even now you withdraw your support from them, they shall be forced to leave your city." Then he 
swore and declared, "As soon as we reach back Madinah, the respectable people will turn out the degraded people from the 
city. " 

When the Prophet came to know of this, he ordered the people to set off immediately and march back to 
Madinah. The forced march continued up to noon the next day without a halt on the way so that the people 
became exhausted and had no time for idle talk. 

Though this wise judgment and quick action by the Prophet averted the undesirable consequences of the 
mischief, Abdullah bin Ubayy got another opportunity for doing a far more serious and greater mischief, i.e. 
by engineering a "Slander" against A'isha, for that was a mischief which might well have involved the young 
Muslim Community in a civil war, if the Prophet and his sincere and devoted followers had not shown wis- 
dom, forbearance and marvelous discipline in dealing with it. In order to understand the events that led to 
the incident of the "Slander," we cite the story in A'isha's own words. She says "Whenever the Holy Prophet went 
out on a journey, he decided by lots as to which of his wives should accompany him. Accordingly, it was decided that I should 
accompany him during the expedition to Bani al-Mustaliq. On the return journey, the Holy Prophet halted for the night at a 
place which was the last stage on the way back to Madinah . It was still night, when they began to make preparations for the 
march. So I went outside the camp to ease myself. When I returned and came near my halting place, I noticed that my necklace 
had fallen down somewhere. I went back in search for it but in the meantime the caravan moved off and I was left behind all 
alone. The four carriers of the litter had placed it on my camel without noticing that it was empty. This happened because of my 
light weight due to lack of food in those days. I wrapped myself in my sheet and lay down in the hope that when it would be 
found that I had been left behind, a search party would come back to pick me up. In the meantime I fell asleep. In the morning, 
when Safwan bin Mu'attal Sulami passed that way, he saw me and recognised me for he had seen me several times before the 
Commandment about purdah had been sent down. No sooner did he see me than he stopped his camel and cried out sponta- 
neously : 'How sad! The wife of the Holy Prophet has been left here!" At this I woke up all of a sudden and covered my face 

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with my sheet. Without uttering another word, he made his camel kneel by me and stood aside, while I climbed on to the camel 
back. He led the camel by the nose-string and we overtook the caravan at about noon, when it had just halted and nobody had 
yet noticed that I had been left behind. I learnt afterwards that this incident had been used to slander me and Abdullah bin 
Ubayy was foremost among the slanderers. " (According to other traditions, when A'isha reached the camp on the 
camel, led by Safwan, and it was known that she had been left behind, Abdullah bin Ubayy cried out, 'By God, 
she could not have remained chaste. Hook, there comes the wife of your Prophet openly on the camel led by the person with whom 
she passed the night. *) 

"When I reached Madinah, I fell ill and stayed in bed for more than a month. Though I was quite unaware of it, the news of 
the "Slander" was spreading like a scandal in the city, and had also reached the Holy Prophet. Anyhow, I noticed that he did 
not seem as concerned about my illness as he used to be. He would come but without addressing me directly, would inquire from 
others how I was and leave the house. Therefore it troubled my mind that something had gone wrong somewhere. So I took leave 
of him and went to my mother's house for better nursing. While I was there, one night I went out of the city to ease myself in the 
company ofMistah's mother, who was a first cousin of my mother. As she was walking along she stumbled over something and 
cried out spontaneously, 'May Mistah perish!' To this I retorted, What a good mother you are that you curse your own son, the 
son who took part in the Battle ofBadr. ' She replied, 'My dear daughter, are you not aware of his scandal mongering?' Then she 
told me everything about the campaign of the 'Slander'. Hearing this horrible story, my blood curdled, and I immediately re- 
turned home, and passed the rest of the night in crying over it. 

"During my absence the Holy Prophet took counsel with Ali and Usamah bin Zayd about this matter. Usamah said good 
words about me to this effect: 'O Messenger of God, we have found nothing but good in your wife. All that is being spread about 
her is a lie and calumny.' As regards Ali, he said, 'O Messenger of God, there is no dearth of women; you may, if you like, 
marry another wife. If however, you would like to investigate into the matter, you may send for her maid servant and inquire 
into it through her. 'Accordingly, the maid servant was sent for and questioned. She replied, 1 declare on an oath by God, Who 
has sent you with the Truth, that I have never seen any evil thing in her, except that she falls asleep when I tell her to look after 
the kneaded dough in my absence and a goat comes and eats it. ' On that same day the Holy Prophet addressed the people from 
the pulpit, saying: 'O Muslims, who from amongyou will defend my honour against the attacker of the person who has trans- 
gressed all bounds in doing harm to me by slandering my wife. By God, I have made a thorough inquiry and found nothing 
wrong with her nor with the man, whose name has been linked with the "Slander". ' At this Usaid bin Hudair (or Sa'd bin 
Mau%) according to other traditions) stood up and said, 'O Messenger of God, if that person belongs to our clan, we will kill 
him by ourselves, but if he belongs to the Kha^raj clan, we will kill him if you order us to do so. ' Hearing this Sa'd bin IJba- 
dah, chief of the Kha^raj clan, stood up and said, You lie you can never kill him. You are saying this just because the person 
belongs to our clan ofKha^raj. Had he belonged to your clan, you would never have said so. ' Usaid retorted, You are a hypo- 
crite: that is why you are defending a hypocrite. ' At this, there was a general turmoil in the mosque, which would have developed 
into a riot, even though the Holy Prophet was present there the whole time. But he cooled down their anger and came down from 
the pulpit." 

Let us point out the enormity of the mischief that was engineered by Abdullah bin Ubayy: 

1 . It implied an attack on the honour of the Prophet and Abu Bakr Siddiq. 

2. He meant to undermine the high moral superiority which was the greatest asset of the Islamic 
Movement. 

3. He intended to ignite civil war between the Muhajirs and the Ansar, and between Aus and Khazraj, 
the two clans of the Ansar. 

Themes and Topics 

This Surah and v. 28-73 of Surah al-Ahzab (of which this is the sequel) were sent down to strengthen the 
moral front, which at that time was the main target of the attack, v. 28-73 of al-Ahzab were sent down con- 
cerning the Prophet's marriage with Zainab, and on the occasion of the second attack (the "Slander" about 
A'isha), Surah An-Nur was sent down to repair the cracks that had appeared in the unity of the Muslim 
Community. If we keep this in view during the study of the two Surahs, we shall understand the wisdom that 

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underlies the Commandments about the Veil. God sent the following instructions to strengthen and safe- 
guard the moral front, and to counteract the storm of propaganda that was raised on the occasion of the 
marriage of Zainab: 

1. The wives of the Prophet were enjoined to remain within their private quarters, to avoid display of 
adornments and to be cautious in their talk with other persons (v. 32, 33). 

2. The other Muslims were forbidden to enter the private rooms of the Prophet and instructed to ask 
whatever they wanted from behind the curtain (v. 53). 

3. A line of demarcation was drawn between the mahram and the non-mahram relatives. Only the 
former were allowed to enter the private rooms of those wives of the Prophet with whom they 
were so closely related as to prohibit marriage with them (v. 55). 

4. The Muslims were told that the wives of the Prophet were prohibited for them just like their own 
real mothers; therefore every Muslim should regard them with the purest of intentions (v. 53, 54). 

5. The Muslims were warned that they would invite the curse and scourge of God if they offended the 
Prophet. Likewise it was a heinous sin to attack the honour of or slander any Muslim man or wom- 
an (v. 57, -8). 

6. All the Muslim women were enjoined to cover their faces with their sheets if and when they had to 
go out of their houses (v. 59). 

On the occasion of the second attack, this Surah was sent down to keep pure and strengthen the moral fibre 
of the Muslim society, which had been shaken by the enormity of the slander. We give below a summary of 
the Commandments and instructions in their chronological order so that one may understand how the 
Qur'an makes use of the psychological occasion to reform the Community by the adoption of legal, moral 
and social measures. 

1. Fornication which had already been declared to be a social crime (4:15,16) was now made a criminal 
offence and was to be punished with a hundred lashes. 

2. It was enjoined to boycott the adulterous men and women and the Muslims were forbidden to have 
any marriage relations with them. 

3. The one, who accused the other of adultery but failed to produce four witnesses, was to be pu- 
nished with eighty lashes. 

4. The Law of Lian was prescribed to decide the charge of adultery against his own wife by a husband. 

5. The Muslims were enjoined to learn a lesson from the incident of the "Slander" about A'isha, as if 
to say, "You should be very cautious in regard to charges of adultery against the people of good 
reputation, and should not spread these; nay, you should refute and suppress them immediately." In 
this connection, a general principle was enunciated that the proper spouse for a pure man is a pure 
woman, for he cannot pull on with a wicked woman for long, and the same is the case with a pure 
woman, as if to say, "When you knew that the Prophet was a pure man, nay, the purest of all hu- 
man beings, how could you believe that he had experienced happiness with a wicked woman and 
exalted her as the most beloved of his wives? For it was obvious that an adulterous woman could 
not have been able to deceive, with her affected behavior, a pure man like the Prophet. You ought 
also to have considered the fact that the accuser was a mean person while the accused was a pure 
woman. This should have been enough to convince you that the accusation was not worth your 
consideration; nay, it was not even conceivable. 

6. Those who spread news and evil rumors and propagate wickedness in the Muslim Community, de- 
serve punishment and not encouragement. 

7. A general principle was laid down that relations in the Muslim Community should be based on 
good faith and not on suspicion: everyone should be treated as innocent unless he is proved to be 
guilty and vice versa. 

8. The people were forbidden to enter the houses of others unceremoniously and were instructed to 
take permission for this. 

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9. Both men and women were instructed to lower their gaze and forbidden to cast glances or make 
eyes at each other. 

10. Women were enjoined to cover their heads and breasts even inside their houses. 

11. Women were forbidden to appear with make-up before other men except their servants or such rel- 
atives with whom their marriage is prohibited. 

12. They were enjoined to hide their make-ups when they went out of their houses, and even forbidden 
to put on jingling ornaments, while they moved out of their houses. 

13. Marriage was encouraged and enjoined even for slaves and slave girls, for unmarried people help 
spread indecency. 

14. The institution of slavery was discouraged and the owners and other people were enjoined to give 
financial help to the slaves to earn their freedom under the law of Mukatabat. 

15. Prostitution by slave girls was forbidden in the first instance, for prostitution in Arabia was con- 
fined to this class alone. This in fact implied the legal prohibition of prostitution. 

1 6. Sanctity of privacy in home life was enjoined even for servants and under age children including 
one's own. They were enjoined not to enter the private rooms of any man or woman without per- 
mission; especially in the morning, at noon and at night. 

17. Old women were given the concession that they could set aside their head covers within their hous- 
es but should refrain from display of adornments. Even they were told that it was better for them 
to keep themselves covered with head wrappers. 

18. The blind, lame, crippled and sick persons were allowed to take any article of food from the houses 
of other people without permission, for it was not to be treated like theft and cheating, which are 
cognizable offenses. 

19. On the other hand, the Muslims were encouraged to develop mutual relationships by taking their 
meals together, and the nearest relatives and intimate friends were allowed to take their meals in 
each other's house without any formal invitation. This was to produce mutual affection and sincere 
relationships between them to counteract any future mischief. Side by side with these instructions, 
clear signs of the Believers and the hypocrites were stated to enable every Muslim to discriminate 
between the two. At the same time the Community was bound together by adopting disciplinary 
measures in order to make it stronger and firmer than it was at the time so as to discourage the 
enemies from creating mischief in it. 

Above all, the most conspicuous thing about this discourse is that it is free from the bitterness which in- 
evitably follows such shameful and absurd attacks. Instead of showing any wrath at this provocation, the 
discourse prescribes some laws and regulations and enjoins reformative commandments and issues wise 
instructions that were required at the time for the education and training of the Community. Incidentally, 
this teaches us how to deal with such provocative mischiefs coolly, wisely and generously. At the same 
time, it is a clear proof that this is not the word of Prophet Muhammad but of a Being Who is observing 
all human conditions and affairs from the highest level, and guiding mankind without any personal preju- 
dices, feelings and leanings. Had this been the word of the Prophet; there would have been at least some 
tinge of natural bitterness in spite of his great generosity and forbearance, for it is but human that a noble 
man naturally becomes enraged when his own honour is attacked in this mean manner. 



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Surah 24: an-Nur 902 

In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, 
the Most Merciful 

1. [This is] a surah which We have sent 
down and made [that within it] obliga- 
tory and revealed therein verses of clear 
evidence that you might remember. 

2. The [unmarried] woman or [unmarried] 
man found guilty of sexual inter- 
course 903 - lash each one of them with a 
hundred lashes, 904 and do not be taken 
by pity for them in the religion [i.e., 
Law] of God, 905 if you should believe in 
God and the Last Day. And let a group 
of the believers witness their punish- 
ment. 

3. The fornicator does not marry except a 
[female] fornicator or polytheist, and 
none marries her except a fornicator 906 
or a polytheist, and that [i.e., marriage 
to such persons] has been made unlaw- 
ful to the believers. 

4. And those who accuse chaste women 
and then do not produce four witnesses 
- lash them with eighty lashes and do 
not accept from them testimony ever 
after. And those are the defiantly dis- 
obedient, 



902 An-Nur. Light. 

903 Either by voluntary confession by the offender 
or the testimony of four male witnesses to having 
actually seen the act take place. Otherwise, there 
can be no conviction. 

904 The ruling in this verse is applicable to unmar- 
ried fornicators. Execution by stoning is con- 
firmed in the sunnah for convicted adulterers. 

905 i.e., Do not let sympathy for a guilty person 
move you to alter anything ordained by God, for 
His law is protection for society as a whole. 

906 Included in this ruling is the adulterer as well. 
Such persons cannot be married to believers un- 
less they have repented and reformed. 



10. 



11. 



Except for those who repent thereafter 
and reform, for indeed, God is Forgiv- 
ing and Merciful. 

And those who accuse their wives [of 
adultery] and have no witnesses except 
themselves - then the witness of one of 
them 907 [shall be] four testimonies 
[swearing] by God that indeed, he is of 
the truthful. 

And the fifth [oath will be] that the 
curse of God be upon him if he should 
be among the liars. 

But it will prevent punishment from her 
if she gives four testimonies [swearing] 
by God that indeed, he is of the liars. 

And the fifth [oath will be] that the 
wrath of God be upon her if he was of 
the truthful. 

And if not for the favor of God upon 
you and His mercy... 908 and because 
God is Accepting of repentance and 
Wise. 

Indeed, those who came with false- 
hood 909 are a group among you. Do not 
think it bad for you; rather it is good for 
you. For every person among them is 
what [punishment] he has earned from 
the sin, and he who took upon himself 
the greater portion thereof 91(l - for him 
is a great punishment [i.e., Hellfire]. 



907 The husbands have been betrayed. 

908 The phrase omitted is estimated to be "...you 
would surely have been punished, destroyed or 
scandalized," or "...you would have suffered 
many difficult situations." 

909 Referring to the incident when the Prophet's 
wife 'A'isha was falsely accused by the hypocrites. 

910 i.e., 'Abdullah bin 'Ubayy, leader of the hypo- 
crites. 

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12. Why, when you heard it, did not the 
believing men and believing women 
think good of themselves [i.e., one 
another] and say, 'This is an obvious 
falsehood"? 

13. Why did they [who slandered] not pro- 
duce for it four witnesses? And when 
they do not produce the witnesses, then 
it is they, in the sight of God, who are 
the liars. 

14. And if it had not been for the favor of 
God upon you and His mercy in this 
world and the Hereafter, you would 
have been touched for that [lie] in 
which you were involved by a great pu- 
nishment 

15. When you received it with your ton- 
gues 911 and said with your mouths that 
of which you had no knowledge and 
thought it was insignificant while it was, 
in the sight of God, tremendous. 

16. And why, when you heard it, did you 
not say, "It is not for us to speak of 
this. Exalted are You, [O God]; this is a 
great slander"? 

17. God warns you against returning to the 
likes of this [conduct], ever, if you 
should be believers. 

18. And God makes clear to you the verses 
[i.e., His rulings], and God is Knowing 
and Wise. 

19. Indeed, those who like that immorali- 
ty 912 should be spread [or publici2ed] 
among those who have believed will 
have a painful punishment in this world 



and the Hereafter. And God knows 913 
and you do not know. 

20. And if it had not been for the favor of 
God upon you and His mercy... 914 and 
because God is Kind and Merciful. 

21. O you who have believed, do not fol- 
low the footsteps of Satan. And whoev- 
er follows the footsteps of Satan - in- 
deed, he enjoins immorality and wrong- 
doing. And if not for the favor of God 
upon you and His mercy, not one of 
you would have been pure, ever, but 
God purifies whom He wills, and God 
is Hearing and Knowing. 

22. And let not those of virtue among you 
and wealth swear not to give [aid] to 
their relatives and the needy and the 
emigrants for the cause of God, and let 
them pardon and overlook. Would you 
not like that God should forgive you? 
And God is Forgiving and Merciful. 

23. Indeed, those who [falsely] accuse 
chaste, unaware and believing women 
are cursed in this world and the Hereaf- 
ter; and they will have a great punish- 
ment 

24. On a Day when their tongues, their 
hands and their feet will bear witness 
against them as to what they used to do. 

25. That Day, God will pay them in full 
their true [i.e., deserved] recompense, 
and they will know that it is God who is 
the manifest Truth [i.e., perfect in jus- 
tice]. 

26. Evil words are for evil men, and evil 
men are [subjected] to evil words. And 



911 Rather than your ears, i.e., not thinking about 
what you had heard but hastening to repeat it 
carelessly. 

912 Specifically, unlawful sexual relations. 



913 The hidden aspects of all things: what is bene- 
ficial and what is harmful. 

914 See footnote to verse 10. 

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good words are for good men, and 
good men are [an object] of good 
words. 915 Those [good people] are de- 
clared innocent of what they [i.e., slan- 
derers] say. For them is forgiveness and 
noble provision. 

27. O you who have believed, do not enter 
houses other than your own houses un- 
til you ascertain welcome and greet 916 
their inhabitants. That is best for you; 
perhaps you will be reminded [i.e., ad- 
vised] . 

28. And if you do not find anyone therein, 
do not enter them until permission has 
been given you. And if it is said to you, 
"Go back," 917 then go back; it is purer 
for you. And God is Knowing of what 
you do. 

29. There is no blame upon you for enter- 
ing houses not inhabited in which there 
is convenience 918 for you. And God 
knows what you reveal and what you 
conceal. 

30. Tell the believing men to reduce [some] 
of their vision 919 and guard their private 
parts. 920 That is purer for them. Indeed, 
God is Acquainted with what they do. 



915 Another accepted interpretation is "Evil wom- 
en are for evil men, and evil men are for evil 
women. And good women are for good men, and 
good men are for good women." 

916 By the words "As-saldniu 'alaykum" ("Peace be 
upon you"). 

917 Or a similar expression showing that the oc- 
cupants are not prepared to receive visitors 
(which should be respected). 

918 Some benefit such as rest, shelter, commodi- 
ties, one's personal belongings, etc. 

919 Looking only at what is lawful and averting 
their eyes from what is unlawful. 

920 p rom being seen and from unlawful acts. 



3 1 . And tell the believing women to reduce 
[some] of their vision 921 and guard their 
private parts and not expose their 
adornment 922 except that which [neces- 
sarily] appears thereof 923 and to wrap [a 
portion of] their headcovers over their 
chests and not expose their adornment 
[i.e., beauty] except to their husbands, 
their fathers, their husbands' fathers, 
their sons, their husbands' sons, their 
brothers, their brothers' sons, their sis- 
ters' sons, their women, that which their 
right hands possess [i.e., slaves], or 
those male attendants having no physi- 
cal desire, 924 or children who are not yet 
aware of the private aspects of women. 
And let them not stamp their feet to 
make known what they conceal of their 
adornment. And turn to God in repen- 
tance, all of you, O believers, that you 
might succeed. 

32. And marry the unmarried among you 
and the righteous among your male 
slaves and female slaves. If they should 
be poor, God will enrich them from 
His bounty, and God is all- 
Encompassing and Knowing. 

33. But let them who find not [the means 
for] marriage abstain [from sexual rela- 
tions] until God enriches them from 
His bounty. And those who seek a con- 
tract [for eventual emancipation] from 
among whom your right hands pos- 



921 Looking only at what is lawful and averting 
their eyes from what is unlawful. 

922 Both natural beauty, such as hair or body 
shape, and that with which a woman beautifies 
herself of clothing, jewelry, etc. 

923 i.e., the outer garments or whatever might 
appear out of necessity, such as a part of the face 
or the hands. 

924 Referring to an abnormal condition in which a 
man is devoid of sexual feeling. 

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sess 925 - then make a contract with them 
if you know there is within them good- 
ness and give them from the wealth of 
God which He has given you. And do 
not compel your slave girls to prostitu- 
tion, if they desire chastity, to seek [the- 
reby] the temporary interests of worldly 
life. And if someone should compel 
them, then indeed, God is [to them], af- 
ter their compulsion, Forgiving and 
Merciful. 

34. And We have certainly sent down to 
you distinct verses 926 and examples 
from those who passed on before you 
and an admonition for those who fear 
God. 

35. God is the Light 927 of the heavens and 
the earth. The example of His light 928 is 
like a niche within which is a lamp, 929 
the lamp is within glass, the glass as if it 
were a pearly [white] star lit from [the 
oil of] a blessed olive tree, neither of the 
east nor of the west, whose oil would 
almost glow even if untouched by fire. 
Light upon light. God guides to His 
light whom He wills. And God presents 
examples for the people, and God is 
Knowing of all things. 

36. [Such niches are] in houses [i.e., mos- 
ques] which God has ordered to be 
raised and that His name be mentioned 
[i.e., praised] therein; exalting Him with- 



925 i.e., those slaves who desire to purchase their 
freedom from their owners for a price agreed 
upon by both. 

926 i.e., rulings and ordinances, in particular those 
in this Surah. 

927 i.e., the source and bestower of light and en- 
lightenment. 

928 His guidance in the heart of a believing ser- 
vant. 

929 Literally, "a burning wick," which is the es- 
sence of a lamp. 



in them in the morning and the even- 
ings 930 

37. [Are] men whom neither commerce nor 
sale distracts from the remembrance of 
God and performance of prayer and 
giving of 2akah. They fear a Day in 
which the hearts and eyes will [fearfully] 
turn about - 

38. That God may reward them [according 
to] the best of what they did and in- 
crease them from His bounty. And God 
gives provision to whom He wills with- 
out account [i.e., limit], 

39. But those who disbelieved - their deeds 
are like a mirage in a lowland which a 
thirsty one thinks is water until, when 
he comes to it, he finds it is nothing but 
finds God before Him, and He will pay 
him in full his due; and God is swift in 
account. 

40. Or [they are] like darknesses within an 
unfathomable sea which is covered by 
waves, upon which are waves, over 
which are clouds - darknesses, some of 
them upon others. When one puts out 
his hand [therein], he can hardly see it. 
And he to whom God has not granted 
light - for him there is no light. 

41. Do you not see that God is exalted by 
whomever is within the heavens and the 
earth and [by] the birds with wings 
spread [in flight]? Each [of them] has 
known his [means of] prayer and exalt- 
ing [Him], and God is Knowing of what 
they do. 

42. And to God belongs the dominion of 
the heavens and the earth, and to God 
is the destination. 



930 The term used here can refer to either after- 
noon or evening. 



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43. Do you not see that God drives clouds? 
Then He brings them together, then He 
makes them into a mass, and you see 
the rain emerge from within it. And He 
sends down from the sky, mountains 
[of clouds] within which is hail, and He 
strikes with it whom He wills and averts 
it from whom He wills. The flash of its 
lightening almost takes away the eye- 
sight. 

44. God alternates the night and the day. 
Indeed in that is a lesson for those who 
have vision. 

45. God has created every piving] creature 
from water. And of them are those that 
move on their bellies, and of them are 
those that walk on two legs, and of 
them are those that walk on four. God 
creates what He wills. Indeed, God is 
over all things competent. 

46. We have certainly sent down distinct 
verses. And God guides whom He wills 
to a straight path. 

47. But they [i.e., the hypocrites] say, "We 
have believed in God and in the Mes- 
senger, and we obey"; then a party of 
them turns away after that. And those 
are not believers. 

48. And when they are called to [the words 
of] God and His Messenger to judge 
between them, at once a party of them 
turns aside [in refusal] . 

49. But if the right is theirs, they come to 
him in prompt obedience. 

50. Is there disease in their hearts? Or have 
they doubted? Or do they fear that God 
will be unjust to them, or His Messen- 
ger? Rather, it is they who are the 
wrongdoers [i.e., the unjust]. 



51. The only statement of the [true] believ- 
ers when they are called to God and His 
Messenger to judge between them is 
that they say, "We hear and we obey." 
And those are the successful. 

52. And whoever obeys God and His Mes- 
senger and fears God and is conscious 
of Him - it is those who are the attain- 
ers. 

53. And they swear by God their strongest 
oaths that if you ordered them, they 
would go forth [in God's cause]. Say, 
"Do not swear. [Such] obedience is 
known. 931 Indeed, God is Acquainted 
with that which you do." 

54. Say, "Obey God and obey the Messen- 
ger; but if you turn away - then upon 
him is only that [duty] with which he 
has been charged, and upon you is that 
with which you have been charged. And 
if you obey him, you will be [rightly] 
guided. And there is not upon the Mes- 
senger except the [responsibility for] 
clear notification." 

55. God has promised those who have be- 
lieved among you and done righteous 
deeds that He will surely grant them 
succession [to authority] upon the earth 
just as He granted it to those before 
them and that He will surely establish 
for them [therein] their religion which 
He has preferred for them and that He 
will surely substitute for them, after 
their fear, security, [for] they worship 
Me, not associating anything with Me. 
But whoever disbelieves 932 after that - 
then those are the defiantly disobedient. 



931 i.e., the hypocrites' pretense of obedience is 
known to be a lie. 

932 i.e., denies the favour of God or does not live 
by His ordinance. 

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56. And establish prayer and give zakah and 
obey the Messenger - that you may re- 
ceive mercy. 

57. Never think that the disbelievers are 
causing failure [to God] upon the earth. 
Their refuge will be the Fire - and how 
wretched the destination. 

58. O you who have believed, let those 
whom your right hands possess and 
those who have not [yet] reached pu- 
berty among you ask permission of you 
[before entering] at three times: before 
the dawn prayer and when you put 
aside your clothing [for rest] at noon 
and after the night prayer. [These are] 
three times of privacy 933 for you. There 
is no blame upon you nor upon them 
beyond these [periods], for they conti- 
nually circulate among you - some of 
you, among others. Thus does God 
make clear to you the verses [i.e., His 
ordinances]; and God is Knowing and 
Wise. 

59. And when the children among you 
reach puberty, let them ask permission 
[at all times] as those before them have 
done. Thus does God make clear to you 
His verses; and God is Knowing and 
Wise. 



62. 



your [own] houses or the houses of 
your fathers or the houses of your 
mothers or the houses of your brothers 
or the houses of your sisters or the 
houses of your fathers' brothers or the 
houses of your fathers' sisters or the 
houses of your mothers' brothers or the 
houses of your mothers' sisters or [from 
houses] whose keys you possess or 
[from the house] of your friend. There 
is no blame upon you whether you eat 
together or separately. But when you 
enter houses, give greetings of peace 934 
upon each other - a greeting from God, 
blessed and good. Thus does God make 
clear to you the verses [of ordinance] 
that you may understand. 

The believers are only those who be- 
lieve in God and His Messenger and, 
when they are [meeting] with him for a 
matter of common interest, do not de- 
part until they have asked his permis- 
sion. Indeed, those who ask your per- 
mission, [O Muhammad] - those are the 
ones who believe in God and His Mes- 
senger. So when they ask your permis- 
sion for something of their affairs, then 
give permission to whom you will 
among them and ask forgiveness for 
them of God. Indeed, God is Forgiving 
and Merciful. 



60. And women of post-menstrual age who 
have no desire for marriage - there is no 
blame upon them for putting aside their 
outer garments [but] not displaying 
adornment. But to modesdy refrain 
[from that] is better for them. And God 
is Hearing and Knowing. 

61. There is not upon the blind [any] con- 
straint nor upon the lame [any] con- 
straint nor upon the ill [any] constraint 
nor upon yourselves if you eat from 



' Literally, "exposure" or "being uncovered.' 



63. Do not make [your] calling of the Mes- 
senger among yourselves as the call of 
one of you to another. Already God 
knows those of you who slip away, 
concealed by others. So let those be- 
ware who dissent from his [i.e., the 
Prophet's] order, 935 lest fitnah 936 strike 
them or a painful punishment. 



934 Saying, "As-saldmu 'alaykum" ("Peace be upon 
you"). 

935 Meaning also his way or his sunnah. 

936 Trials, affliction, dissension, strife, etc. 

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64. Unquestionably, to God belongs what- 
ever is in the heavens and earth. Al- 
ready He knows that upon which you 
[stand] 937 and [knows] the Day 938 when 
they will be returned to Him and He 
will inform them of what they have 
done. And God is Knowing of all 
things. 



937 i.e., your position — the basis for your actions 
(whether sincere faith or hypocrisy) and the con- 
dition of your souls. 

938 The meaning can also be rendered "...and [let 
them beware of] the Day. . ." 

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Surah 25: al- Furqan 

Period of Revelation 

It appears from its style and subject matter that like Surah al-Mu'minun it was also revealed during the third 
stage of Prophethood at Makkah. Ibn Jarir and Imam Razi have cited a tradition of Dahhak bin Muzahim 
that this Surah was revealed eight years before Surah 4: an-Nisa. 

Subject Matter and Topics 

The Surah deals with the doubts and objections that were being raised against the Qur'an, the Prophethood 
of Muhammad and his teachings by the disbelievers of Makkah. Appropriate answers to each and every ob- 
jection have been given and the people have been warned of the consequences of rejecting the Truth. At the 
end of the Surah a clear picture of the moral superiority of the Believers has been depicted as in the begin- 
ning of Surah al-Mu'minun as if to say 'Here is the criterion for distinguishing the genuine from the counter- 
feit. This is the noble character of those people who have believed in and followed the teachings of the 
Prophet and this is the kind of people that he is trying to train. You may yourselves compare and contrast 
this type of people with those Arabs who have not as yet accepted the Message and who are upholding "ig- 
norance" and exerting their utmost to defeat the Truth. Now you may judge for yourselves as to which you 
would like to choose." Though this question was not posed in so many words it was placed before every one 
in Arabia in a tangible shape. It may be noted that during the next few years the practical answer given to this 
question by the whole nation with the exception of a small minority was that they chose Islam. 



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Surah 25: al- Furqan 939 



In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, 
the Most Merciful 

1. Blessed is He who sent down the Crite- 
rion upon His Servant that he may be 
to the worlds a warner - 

2. He to whom belongs the dominion of 
the heavens and the earth and who has 
not taken a son and has not had a part- 
ner in dominion and has created each 
thing and determined it with [precise] 
determination. 

3. But they have taken besides Him gods 
which create nothing, while they are 
created, and possess not for themselves 
any harm or benefit and possess not 
[power to cause] death or life or resur- 
rection. 

4. And those who disbelieve say, "This 
[Qur'an] is not except a falsehood he 
invented, and another people assisted 
him in it." But they have committed an 
injustice and a lie. 

5. And they say, "Legends of the former 
peoples which he has written down, 
and they are dictated to him morning 
and afternoon." 

6. Say, [O Muhammad], "It has been re- 
vealed by He who knows [every] secret 
within the heavens and the earth. In- 
deed, He is ever Forgiving and Merci- 
ful." 

7. And they say, "What is this messenger 
that eats food and walks in the mar- 



kets? Why was there not sent down to 
him an angel so he would be with him a 
warner? 

8. Or [why is not] a treasure presented to 
him [from heaven], or does he [not] 
have a garden from which he eats?" 
And the wrongdoers say, "You follow 
not but a man affected by magic." 

9. Look how they strike for you compari- 
sons; 940 but they have strayed, so they 
cannot [find] a way. 

10. Blessed is He who, if He willed, could 
have made for you [something] better 
than that - gardens beneath which riv- 
ers flow - and could make for you pa- 
laces. 

1 1 . But they have denied the Hour, and We 
have prepared for those who deny the 
Hour a Bla2e. 

12. When it [i.e., the Hellfire] sees them 
from a distant place, they will hear its 
fury and roaring. 

13. And when they are thrown into a nar- 
row place therein bound in chains, they 
will cry out thereupon for destruction. 

14. [They will be told], "Do not cry this 
Day for one destruction but cry for 
much destruction." 

15. Say, "Is that better or the Garden of 
Eternity which is promised to the righ- 
teous? It will be for them a reward and 
destination. 

16. For them therein is whatever they wish, 
[while] abiding eternally. It is ever upon 



939 yAl-Vurqdn; The Criterion, which is another 
name for the Qur'an and means "that which dis- 
tinguishes truth from falsehood and right from 
wrong." 



940 p r0 m their own imaginations in order to deny 
and discredit you. 

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your Lord a promise [worthy to be] re- 
quested. 941 

17. And [mention] the Day He will gather 
them and that which they worship be- 
sides God and will say, "Did you mis- 
lead these, My servants, or did they 
[themselves] stray from the way?" 

1 8. They will say, "Exalted are You! It was 
not for us to take besides You any allies 
[i.e., protectors]. But You provided 
comforts for them and their fathers un- 
til they forgot the message and became 
a people ruined." 

19. So they will deny you, [disbelievers], in 
what you say, 942 and you cannot avert 
[punishment] or [find] help. And 
whoever commits injustice 943 among 
you - We will make him taste a great 
punishment. 

20. And We did not send before you, [O 
Muhammad], any of the messengers 
except that they ate food and walked in 
the markets. And We have made some 
of you [people] as trial for others - will 
you have patience? And ever is your 
Lord, Seeing. 

21. And those who do not expect the 
meeting with Us say, "Why were not 
angels sent down to us, or [why] do we 
[not] see our Lord?" They have certain- 
ly become arrogant within them- 
selves 944 and [become] insolent with 
great insolence. 



22. The day they see the angels 945 - no 
good tidings will there be that day for 
the criminals, and [the angels] will say, 
"Prevented and inaccessible." 946 



23. And We will approach [i.e., regard] 947 
what they have done of deeds and 
make them as dust dispersed. 

24. The companions of Paradise, that Day, 
are [in] a better settlement and better 
resting place. 

25. And [mention] the Day when the hea- 
ven will split open with [emerging] 
clouds, 948 and the angels will be sent 
down in successive descent. 

26. True sovereignty, that Day, is for the 
Most Merciful. And it will be upon the 
disbelievers a difficult Day. 

27. And the Day the wrongdoer will bite 
on his hands [in regret] he will say, 
"Oh, I wish I had taken with the Mes- 
senger a way. 949 

28. Oh, woe to me! I wish I had not taken 
that one 950 as a friend. 

29. He led me away from the remem- 
brance 951 after it had come to me. And 
ever is Satan, to man, a deserter." 952 

30. And the Messenger has said, "O my 
Lord, indeed my people have taken this 
Qur'an as [a thing] abandoned." 953 



941 Q r " a promise requested [for them by the 
angels]." 

942 At the time of Judgement the false objects of 
worship will betray their worshippers and deny 
them. 

943 Specifically, association of others with God. 

944 Additional meaning are "among themselves" 
and "over [the matter of] themselves." 



945 i.e., at the time of death. 

946 Referring to any good tidings. 

947 On the Day of Judgement. 

948 Within which are the angels. 

949 i.e., followed the Prophet on a path of guid- 
ance. 

950 The person who misguided him. 

951 i.e., the Qur'an or the remembrance of God. 

952 Forsaking him once he has led him into evil. 

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31. And thus have We made for every 
prophet an enemy from among the 
criminals. But sufficient is your Lord as 
a guide and a helper. 

32. And those who disbelieve say, "Why 
was the Qur'an not revealed to him all 
at once?" Thus [it is] that We may 
strengthen thereby your heart. And We 
have spaced it distincdy. 954 

33. And they do not come to you with an 
example [i.e., argument] except that We 
bring you the truth and the best expla- 
nation. 

34. The ones who are gathered on their 
faces to Hell - those are the worst in 
position and farthest astray in [their] 
way. 

35. And We had certainly given Moses the 
Scripture and appointed with him his 
brother Aaron as an assistant. 

36. And We said, "Go both of you to the 
people who have denied Our signs." 
Then We destroyed them with [com- 
plete] destruction. 

37. And the people of Noah - when they 
denied the messengers, 955 We drowned 
them, and We made them for mankind 
a sign. And We have prepared for the 
wrongdoers a painful punishment. 



38. And [We destroyed] Aad and Thamud 
and the companions of the well 956 and 
many generations between them. 

39. And for each We presented examples 
[as warnings], and each We destroyed 
with [total] destruction. 

40. And they have already come upon the 
town which was showered with a rain 
of evil [i.e., stones]. So have they not 
seen it? But they are not expecting re- 
surrection. 957 

41. And when they see you, [O Muham- 
mad], they take you not except in ridi- 
cule, [saying], "Is this the one whom 
God has sent as a messenger? 

42. He almost would have misled us from 
our gods had we not been steadfast in 
[worship of] them." But they are going 
to know, when they see the punish- 
ment, who is farthest astray in [his] 
way. 

43. Have you seen the one who takes as his 
god his own desire? Then would you be 
responsible for him? 

44. Or do you think that most of them 
hear or reason? They are not except like 
livestock. 958 Rather, they are [even] 
more astray in [their] way. 

45. Have you not considered your Lord - 
how He extends the shadow, and if He 
willed. He could have made it statio- 



953 i.e., avoiding it, not listening to or understand- 
ing it, not living by it, or preferring something 
else to it. 

954 Also, "recited it with distinct recitation." 

955 Their denial of Noah was as if they had denied 
all those who brought the same message from 
God. 



956 Said to be a people who denied Prophet 
Shu'ayb or possibly those mentioned in Surah Yd 



Seen, 36:13-29. 

957 So they do not benefit from lessons of the 
past. 

958 i.e., cattle or sheep, that follow without ques- 
tion wherever they are led. 

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nary? Then We made the sun for it an 
indication. 959 



them a barrier and prohibiting parti- 
tion. 



46. Then We hold it in hand for a brief 



47. 



48. 



49. 



50. 



grasp. m > 

And it is He who has made the night 
for you as clothing 961 and sleep [a 
means for] rest and has made the day a 
resurrection. 962 

And it is He who sends the winds as 
good tidings before His mercy [i.e., 
rainfall], and We send down from the 
sky pure water 

That We may bring to life thereby a 
dead land and give it as drink to those 
We created of numerous livestock and 
men. 

And We have certainly distributed it 
among them that they might be re- 
minded, 963 but most of the people 
refuse except disbelief. 



51. And if We had willed, We could have 
sent into every city a warner. 964 

52. So do not obey the disbelievers, and 
strive against them with it [i.e., the 
Qur'an] a great striving. 

53. And it is He who has released [simulta- 
neously] the two seas [i.e., bodies of 
water], one fresh and sweet and one 
salty and bitter, and He placed between 



959 i.e., showing the existence of a shadow or 
making it apparent by contrast. 

960 i.e., when the sun is overhead at noon. 

961 Covering and concealing you in its darkness. 

962 p or renewal of life and activity. 

963 Of God's ability to bring the dead to life. 

964 However, God willed that Prophet Muham- 
mad be sent as the final messenger for all peoples 
of the earth until the Day of Resurrection. 



54. And it is He who has created from wa- 
ter [i.e., semen] a human being and 
made him [a relative by] lineage and 
marriage. And ever is your Lord com- 
petent [concerning creation], 

55. But they worship rather than God that 
which does not benefit them or harm 
them, and the disbeliever is ever, 
against his Lord, an assistant [to Satan], 

56. And We have not sent you, [O Mu- 
hammad], except as a bringer of good 
tidings and a warner. 

57. Say, "I do not ask of you for it any 
payment - only that whoever wills 
might take to his Lord a way." 

58. And rely upon the Ever-Living who 
does not die, and exalt [God] with His 
praise. And sufficient is He to be, with 
the sins of His servants, Acquainted - 

59. He who created the heavens and the 
earth and what is between them in six 
days and then established Himself 
above the Throne 965 - the Most Merci- 
ful, so ask about Him one well in- 
formed [i.e., the Prophet], 

60. And when it is said to them, "Prostrate 
to the Most Merciful," they say, "And 
what is the Most Merciful? Should we 
prostrate to that which you order us?" 
And it increases them in aversion. 

61. Blessed is He who has placed in the sky 
great stars and placed therein a [burn- 
ing] lamp and luminous moon. 



965 See footnote to 2:19. 

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62. 



63. 



64. 



65. 



66. 



And it is He who has made the night 
and the day in succession for whoever 
desires to remember or desires grati- 
tude. 

And the servants of the Most Merciful 
are those who walk upon the earth easi- 
ly, 966 and when the ignorant address 
them [harshly], they say [words of] 
peace, 967 

And those who spend [part of] the 
night to their Lord prostrating and 
standing [in prayer] 

And those who say, "Our Lord, avert 
from us the punishment of Hell. In- 
deed, its punishment is ever adhering; 



Indeed, it is evil as 
residence." 



settlement and 



71. And he who repents and does righ- 
teousness does indeed turn to God 
with [accepted] repentance. 

72. And [they are] those who do not testify 
to falsehood, and when they pass near 
ill speech, they pass by with dignity. 

73. And those who, when reminded of the 
verses of their Lord, do not fall upon 
them deaf and blind. 

74. And those who say, "Our Lord, grant 
us from among our wives and offspring 
comfort to our eyes 968 and make us a 
leader [i.e., example] for the righteous." 

75. Those will be awarded the Chamber 969 
for what they patiently endured, and 
they will be received therein with greet- 
ings and [words of] peace, 



67. And [they are] those who, when they 
spend, do so not excessively or sparing- 
ly but are ever, between that, [justly] 
moderate 

68. And those who do not invoke with 
God another deity or kill the soul 
which God has forbidden [to be killed], 
except by right, and do not commit un- 
lawful sexual intercourse. And whoever 
should do that will meet a penalty. 



76. Abiding eternally therein. Good is the 
settlement and residence. 

77. Say, "What would my Lord care for 
you if not for your supplication?" 970 
For you [disbelievers] have denied, so it 
[i.e., your denial] is going to be adhe- 
rent. 971 



69. Multiplied for him is the punishment 
on the Day of Resurrection, and he will 
abide therein humiliated - 



70. Except for those who repent, believe 
and do righteous work. For them God 
will replace their evil deeds with good. 
And ever is God Forgiving and Merci- 
ful. 



966 i.e., gently, with dignity but without arrogance. 

967 Q r "safety," i.e., words free from fault or evil. 



968 i.e., a source of happiness due to their righ- 
teousness. 

969 The most elevated portion of Paradise. 

970 i.e., faith and worship. An alternative meaning 
is "What would my Lord do with you. . ." 

971 It will remain with them, causing punishment 
to be required and imperative upon them. 



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Surah 26: ash- Shu'ara' 

Period of Revelation 

The subject matter and the style show, and the hadith confirm that it was revealed during the middle Makkan 
period. According to Ibn Abbas, Surah Ta Ha was revealed first, then Surah al-Waqi'ah and then Surah ash- 
Shu'ara'. 

Subject Matter and Topics 

The background of the Surah is that the disbelievers of Makkah were persistently refusing on one pretext or 
the other to accept the message of Islam given by the Prophet. Sometimes they would say that he did not 
show them any sign to convince them of his Prophethood; sometimes they would brand him as a poet or a 
sorcerer and mock his message; and sometimes they would ridicule his Mission saying that his followers were 
either a few foolish youth or the poor people and slaves. They argued that if his Mission had really some 
value for the people the nobles and the elders would have accepted it first. Meanwhile on the one hand the 
Prophet was becoming wearied by his efforts to show them rationally the errors of their creeds and prove the 
truth of the Doctrines of Tawhid (Oneness of God) and the Hereafter, the disbelievers on the other were 
never tired of adopting one kind of obduracy after the other. This state of affairs was causing great anguish 
and grief to the Prophet. Such were the conditions when this Surah was revealed. It begins with words of 
consolation to the Prophet implying, why do you fret for their sake? If these people have not believed in you 
it is not because they have not seen any Sign but because they are stubborn. They will not listen to reason 
and they want to see a Sign which makes them bow their heads in humility. When this Sign is shown in due 
course of time they will themselves realize that what was being presented to them was the Truth. 

After this introduction till verse 191 one and the same theme has been presented continuously and it is said: 
"The whole earth abounds in such Signs as can guide a seeker after truth to Reality but the stubborn and 
misguided people have never believed even after seeing the Signs whether these were the Signs of the natural 
phenomena or the miracles of the Prophets. These wretched people have stubbornly adhered to their erro- 
neous creeds till the Divine scourge actually overtook them." It is to illustrate this, that the history of seven 
of the ancient tribes has been told who persisted in disbelief just like the disbelievers of Makkah. In this con- 
nection the following points have been stressed: 

1. The Signs are of two kinds: 

a. Those which are scattered all over the earth and by seeing which an intelligent person can 
judge for himself whether what the Prophet is presenting is the Truth or not and 

b. Those which were seen by Pharaoh and his people, Noah's people, the people of Aad and 
the Thamud, Lot's people and the people of Aiykah. Now it is for the disbelievers to de- 
cide which kind of the Signs they are eager to see. 

2. The mentality of the disbeliever has been the same throughout the ages; their arguments, their ob- 
jections, their excuses and ploys for not believing have been similar and ultimately the fates that 
they met have also been the same. Likewise the Prophets in every age presented the same teachings, 
their personal character, their reasoning and arguments against their opponents were the same and 
they were all similarly blessed with mercy by God Almighty. Both these patterns of behaviour and 
conduct are found in history and the disbelievers could themselves see as to which respective pat- 
terns they and the Prophet belonged. 

3. God is All Mighty, All Powerful and All Merciful at the same time. History contains instances of 
His Wrath as well as of His Mercy. Now therefore it is for the people to decide whether they would 
like to deserve God's Merey or His Wrath. 

4. Lastly the discussion has been summed up saying "O disbelievers if at all you want to see the Signs 
why should you insist on seeing those horrible Signs that visited the doomed communities of the 
past? Why don't you see the Qur'an which is being presented in your own language? Why don't you 

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see Muhammad and his Companions? Can the revelations of the Qur'an be the work of a satan or a 
Jinn? Does the recipient of the Qur'an appear to be a sorcerer? Are Muhammad and his Compa- 
nions no different from a poet and his admirers? Why don't you give up disbelief and search your 
hearts for their judgment? When in the heart of your hearts you yourselves believe that the Revela- 
tions of the Qur'an have nothing in common with sorcery and poetry, then you should know that 
you are being cruel and unjust, and will certainly meet the doom meant for the cruel and unjust." 



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Surah 26: ash- Shu'ara' 972 



In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, 
the Most Merciful 

1. Ta, Seen, Meem. 973 

2. These are the verses of the clear Book. 

3. Perhaps, [O Muhammad], you would 
kill yourself with grief that they will not 
be believers. 

4. If We willed, We could send down to 
them from the sky a sign for which 
their necks would remain humbled. 974 

5. And no mention [i.e., revelation] comes 
to them anew from the Most Merciful 
except that they turn away from it. 

6. For they have already denied, but there 
will come to them the news of that 
which they used to ridicule. 

7. Did they not look at the earth - how 
much We have produced therein from 
every noble kind? 

8. Indeed in that is a sign, but most of 
them were not to be believers. 

9 And indeed, your Lord - He is the Ex- 

alted in Mght, the Merciful. 

10. And [mention] when your Lord called 
Moses, [saying], "Go to the wrong- 
doing people - 

11. The people of Pharaoh. Will they not 
fear God?" 



12. He said, "My Lord, indeed I fear that 
they will deny me 

13. And that my breast will tighten and my 
tongue will not be fluent, so send for 
Aaron. 

14. And they have upon me a [claim due 
to] sin, so I fear that they will kill me." 

15. [God] said, "No. Go both of you with 
Our signs; indeed, We are with you, lis- 
tening. 

16. Go to Pharaoh and say, 'We are the 
messengers 975 of the Lord of the 
worlds, 

17. [Commanded to say], 'Send with us the 
Children of Israel." ' " 

18. [Pharaoh] said, "Did we not raise you 
among us as a child, and you remained 
among us for years of your life? 

19. And [then] you did your deed which 
you did, 976 and you were of the ungrate- 
ful." 

20. [Moses] said, "I did it, then, while I was 
of those astray [i.e., ignorant], 

21. So I fled from you when I feared you. 
Then my Lord granted me judgement 
[i.e., wisdom and prophethood] and 
appointed me [as one] of the messen- 
gers. 

22. And is this a favor of which you re- 
mind me - that you have enslaved the 
Children of Israel?" 



972 Ash- Shu'ara': The Poets. 

973 See footnote to 2:1. 

974 i.e., they would be compelled to believe. 



975 -j^g singular form in Arabic indicates that 
both were sent with a single message. 

976 i.e., striking the Copt, who died as a result. 

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23. Said Pharaoh, "And what is the Lord of 
the worlds?" 

24. [Moses] said, "The Lord of the heavens 
and earth and that between them, if you 
should be convinced." 

25. [Pharaoh] said to those around him, 
"Do you not hear?" 

26. [Moses] said, "Your Lord and the Lord 
of your first forefathers." 

27. [Pharaoh] said, 977 "Indeed, your 'mes- 
senger' who has been sent to you is 
mad." 

28. [Moses] said, "Lord of the east and the 
west and that between them, if you 
were to reason." 

29. [Pharaoh] said, "If you take a God oth- 
er than me, I will surely place you 
among those imprisoned." 

30. [Moses] said, "Even if I brought you 
something [i.e., proof] manifest?" 

31. [Pharaoh] said, "Then bring it, if you 
should be of the truthful." 

32. So [Moses] threw his staff, and sudden- 
ly it was a serpent manifest. 978 

33. And he drew out his hand; thereupon it 
was white for the observers. 

34. [Pharaoh] said to the eminent ones 
around him, "Indeed, this is a learned 
magician. 

35. He wants to drive you out of your land 
by his magic, so what do you advise?" 



36. They said, "Postpone [the matter of] 
him and his brother and send among 
the cities gatherers 

37. Who will bring you every learned, 
skilled magician." 

38. So the magicians were assembled for 
the appointment of a well-known 

day. 979 

39. And it was said to the people, "Will you 
congregate 

40. That we might follow the magicians if 
they are the predominant?" 

41. And when the magicians arrived, they 
said to Pharaoh, "Is there indeed for us 
a reward if we are the predominant?" 

42. He said, "Yes, and indeed, you will then 
be of those near [to me]." 

43. Moses said to them, "Throw whatever 
you will throw." 

44. So they threw their ropes and their 
staffs and said, "By the might of Pha- 
raoh, indeed it is we who are predomi- 
nant." 

45. Then Moses threw his staff, and at 
once it devoured what they falsified. 

46. So the magicians fell down in prostra- 
tion [to God]. 

47. They said, "We have believed in the 
Lord of the worlds, 

48. The Lord of Moses and Aaron." 



977 Angrily addressing those present. 

978 i.e., clearly genuine. 



979 i.e., the morning of the day of festival. See 
20:58-59. 

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49. [Pharaoh] said, "You believed him [i.e., 
Moses] before I gave you permission. 
Indeed, he is your leader who has 
taught you magic, but you are going to 
know. I will surely cut off your hands 
and your feet on opposite sides, and I 
will surely crucify you all." 

50. They said, "No harm. Indeed, to our 
Lord we will return. 

51. Indeed, we aspire that our Lord will 
forgive us our sins because we were the 
first of the believers." 

52. And We inspired to Moses, "Travel by 
night with My servants; indeed, you will 
be pursued." 

53. Then Pharaoh sent among the cities 
gatherers 980 

54. [And said], "Indeed, those are but a 
small band, 

55. And indeed, they are enraging us, 

56. And indeed, we are a cautious socie- 

ty... 

57. So We removed them from gardens 
and springs 

58. And treasures and honourable station 981 



61. And when the two companies saw one 
another, the companions of Moses said, 
"Indeed, we are to be overtaken!" 

62. [Moses] said, "No! Indeed, with me is 
my Lord; He will guide me." 

63. Then We inspired to Moses, "Strike 
with your staff the sea," and it parted, 
and each portion was like a great tower- 
ing mountain. 

64. And We advanced thereto the others 
[i.e., the pursuers]. 

65. And We saved Moses and those with 
him, all together. 

66. Then We drowned the others. 

67. Indeed in that is a sign, but most of 
them were not to be believers. 

68. And indeed, your Lord - He is the Ex- 
alted in Mght, the Merciful. 

69. And recite to them the news of Abra- 
ham, 

70. When he said to his father and his 
people, "What do you worship?" 

71. They said, "We worship idols and re- 
main to them devoted." 



59. Thus. And We caused to inherit it the 
Children of Israel. 

60. So they pursued them at sunrise. 



72. He said, "Do they hear you when you 
supplicate? 

73. Or do they benefit you, or do they 
harm?" 



980 Recruiters of an army to prevent the emigra- 
tion of the Children of Israel. 

981 God caused them to abandon their wealth and 
property in pursuit of the Israelites. 



74. 



75. 



They said, "But we found our fathers 
doing thus." 

He said, "Then do you see what you 
have been worshipping, 



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76. You and your ancient forefathers? 90. 

77. Indeed, they are enemies to me, except 

the Lord of the worlds, 982 9 1 . 

78. Who created me, and He [it is who] 
guides me. 92. 

79. And it is He who feeds me and gives 

me drink. 93. 

80. And when I am ill, it is He who cures 

me 94. 

81. And who will cause me to die and then 

bring me to life 95. 

82. And who I aspire that He will forgive 96. 
me my sin on the Day of Recom- 
pense." 97. 

83. [And he said], "My Lord, grant me au- 
thority and join me with the righteous. 98. 

84. And grant me a mention [i.e., reputa- 
tion] of honour among later genera- 99. 
tions. 



And Paradise will be brought near [that 
Day] to the righteous. 

And Hellfire will be brought forth for 
the deviators, 

And it will be said to them, "Where are 
those you used to worship 

Other than God? Can they help you or 
help themselves?" 

So they will be overturned into it [i.e., 
Hellfire], they and the deviators 

And the soldiers of Iblees, all together. 

They will say while they dispute therein, 

"By God, we were indeed in manifest 
error 

When we equated you with the Lord of 
the worlds. 

And no one misguided us except the 
criminals. 



85. And place me among the inheritors of 
the Garden of Pleasure. 

86. And forgive my father. Indeed, he has 
been of those astray. 

87. And do not disgrace me on the Day 
they are [all] resurrected - 

88. The Day when there will not benefit 
[anyone] wealth or children 

89. But only one who comes to God with a 
sound heart." 



100. 
101. 

102. 

103. 
104. 



So now we have no intercessors 

And not a devoted friend. 

Then if we only had a return [to the 
world] and could be of the believ- 



ers. 



"<)83 



Indeed in that is a sign, but most of 
them were not to be believers. 

And indeed, your Lord - He is the Ex- 
alted in Might, the Merciful. 



105. The people of Noah denied the mes- 
sengers 984 



982 The people worshipped idols in addition to 
God. 



983 The conclusion of this verse is estimated as 
". . .we would do this or that." 

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106. When their brother Noah said to them, 
"Will you not fear God? 

107. Indeed, I am to you a trustworthy mes- 
senger. 

108. So fear God and obey me. 

109. And I do not ask you for it any pay- 
ment. My payment is only from the 
Lord of the worlds. 

110. So fear God and obey me." 

111. They said, "Should we believe you 
while you are followed by the lowest 
[class of people]?" 

1 12. He said, "And what is my knowledge of 
what they used to do? 

113. Their account is only upon my Lord, if 
you [could] perceive. 

114. And I am not one to drive away the 
believers. 

115. I am only a clear warner." 

116. They said, "If you do not desist, O 
Noah, you will surely be of those who 
are stoned." 

117. He said, "My Lord, indeed my people 
have denied me. 

118. Then judge between me and them with 
decisive judgement and save me and 
those with me of the believers." 

119. So We saved him and those with him in 
the laden ship. 



121. Indeed in that is a sign, but most of 
them were not to be believers. 

122. And indeed, your Lord - He is the Ex- 
alted in Mght, the Merciful. 

123. Aad denied the messengers 

124. When their brother Hud said to them, 
"Will you not fear God? 

125. Indeed, I am to you a trustworthy mes- 
senger. 

126. So fear God and obey me. 

127. And I do not ask you for it any pay- 
ment. My payment is only from the 
Lord of the worlds. 

128. Do you construct on every elevation a 
sign, 985 amusing yourselves, 

129. And take for yourselves constructions 
[i.e., places and fortresses] that you 
might abide eternally? 

130. And when you strike, you strike as ty- 
rants. 

131. So fear God and obey me. 

132. And fear He who provided you with 
that which you know, 

133. Provided you with gra2ing livestock 
and children 

134. And gardens and springs. 

135. Indeed, I fear for you the punishment 
of a terrible day." 



120. Then We drowned thereafter the re- 
maining ones. 

984 See footnote to 25:37. 



985 i.e., a symbol or indication of their wealth and 
— power. They used to build lofty structures along 
the road to be seen by all those who passed by. 

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136. They said, "It is all the same to us 
whether you advise or are not of the 
advisors. 

137. This is not but the custom of the for- 
mer peoples, 

138. And we are not to be punished." 

139. And they denied him, so We destroyed 
them. Indeed in that is a sign, but most 
of them were not to be believers. 

140. And indeed, your Lord - He is the Ex- 
alted in Might, the Merciful. 

141. Thamud denied the messengers 

142. When their brother Salih said to them, 
"Will you not fear God? 

143. Indeed, I am to you a trustworthy mes- 
senger. 

144. So fear God and obey me. 

145. And I do not ask you for it any pay- 
ment. My payment is only from the 
Lord of the worlds. 

146. Will you be left in what is here, secure 
[from death], 

147. Within gardens and springs 

148. And fields of crops and palm trees with 
softened fruit? 

149. And you carve out of the mountains, 
homes, with skill. 

150. So fear God and obey me. 

151. And do not obey the order of the 
transgressors, 



152. Who cause corruption in the land and 
do not amend." 

153. They said, "You are only of those af- 
fected by magic. 

154. You are but a man like ourselves, so 
bring a sign, if you should be of the 
truthful." 

155. He said, "This is a she-camel. 986 For her 
is a [time of] drink, and for you is a 
[time of] drink, [each] on a known day. 

156. And do not touch her with harm, lest 
you be seized by the punishment of a 
terrible day." 

157. But they hamstrung her and so became 
regretful. 

158. And the punishment seized them. In- 
deed in that is a sign, but most of them 
were not to be believers. 

159. And indeed, your Lord - He is the Ex- 
alted in Might, the Merciful. 

160. The people of Lot denied the messen- 
gers 

161. When their brother Lot said to them, 
"Will you not fear God? 

1 62. Indeed, I am to you a trustworthy mes- 
senger. 

163. So fear God and obey me. 

164. And I do not ask you for it any pay- 
ment. My payment is only from the 
Lord of the worlds. 

165. Do you approach males among the 
worlds 987 



986 Miraculously sent to them as a sign by God. 

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166. And leave what your Lord has created 
for you as mates? But you are a people 
transgressing." 

167. They said, "If you do not desist, O Lot, 
you will surely be of those evicted." 

168. He said, "Indeed, I am, toward your 
deed, of those who detest [it]. 

169. My Lord, save me and my family from 
[the consequence of] what they do." 

170. So We saved him and his family, all, 

171. Except an old woman 988 among those 
who remained behind. 

172. Then We destroyed the others. 

173. And We rained upon them a rain [of 
stones], and evil was the rain of those 
who were warned. 



180. And I do not ask you for it any pay- 
ment. My payment is only from the 
Lord of the worlds. 

181. Give full measure and do not be of 
those who cause loss. 

182. And weigh with an even [i.e., honest] 
balance. 

1 83. And do not deprive people of their due 
and do not commit abuse on earth, 
spreading corruption. 

184. And fear He who created you and the 
former creation." 989 

185. They said, "You are only of those af- 
fected by magic. 

186. You are but a man like ourselves, and 
indeed, we think you are among the 
liars. 



174. Indeed in that is a sign, but most of 
them were not to be believers. 

175. And indeed, your Lord - He is the Ex- 
alted in Mght, the Merciful. 

176. The companions of the thicket [i.e., the 
people of Madyan] denied the messen- 
gers 

177. When Shu'ayb said to them, "Will you 
not fear God? 

178. Indeed, I am to you a trustworthy mes- 
senger. 

179. So fear God and obey me. 



987 i.e., Are there, out of all God's creatures, any 
besides you who commit this unnatural act? 

988 Lot's wife, who had collaborated with the 
evildoers. 



187. So cause to fall upon us fragments of 
the sky, if you should be of the truth- 
ful." 

188. He said, "My Lord is most knowing of 
what you do." 

189. And they denied him, so the punish- 
ment of the day of the black cloud 
seized them. Indeed, it was the pu- 
nishment of a terrible day. 

190. Indeed in that is a sign, but most of 
them were not to be believers. 

191. And indeed, your Lord - He is the Ex- 
alted in Mght, the Merciful. 

192. And indeed, it [i.e., the Qur'an] is the 
revelation of the Lord of the worlds. 



i.e., previous generations. 



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193. The Trustworthy Spirit [i.e., Gabriel] 
has brought it down 

194. Upon your heart, [O Muhammad] - 
that you may be of the warners - 

195. In a clear Arabic language. 

196. And indeed, it is [mentioned] in the 
scriptures of former peoples. 

197. And has it not been a sign to them that 
it is recognized by the scholars of the 
Children of Israel? 

198. And even if We had revealed it to one 
among the foreigners 990 

199. And he had recited it to them [perfect- 
ly], 991 they would [still] not have been 
believers in it. 

200. Thus have We inserted it [i.e., disbelief] 
into the hearts of the criminals. 

201 . They will not believe in it until they see 
the painful punishment. 

202. And it will come to them suddenly 
while they perceive [it] not. 

203. And they will say, "May we be re- 
prieved?" 



207. They would not be availed by the en- 
joyment with which they were pro- 
vided. 

208. And We did not destroy any city except 
that it had warners 

209. As a reminder; and never have We been 
unjust. 

210. And the devils have not brought it [i.e., 
the revelation] down. 992 

211. It is not allowable for them, nor would 
they be able. 

212. Indeed they, from [its] hearing, are re- 
moved. 993 

213. So do not invoke with God another 
deity and [thus] be among the pu- 
nished. 

214. And warn, [O Muhammad], your clos- 
est kindred. 

215. And lower your wing [i.e., show kind- 
ness] to those who follow you of the 
believers. 

216. And if they disobey you, then say, "In- 
deed, I am disassociated from what you 
are doing." 



204. So for Our punishment are they impa- 
tient? 



217. And rely upon the Exalted in Might, 
the Merciful, 



205. Then have you considered if We gave 
them enjoyment for years 

206. And then there came to them that 
which they were promised? 



218. Who sees you when you arise 994 

219. And your movement among those who 
prostrate. 995 



990 i.e., the non- Arabs or those who are not fluent 
in the Arabic language. 

991 As a miracle from God. 



992 As was asserted by the disbelievers. Rather, it 
was brought by Gabriel, the Trustworthy Spirit. 

993 As mentioned in 72:9. 

994 p rom your bed at night for prayer while you 
are alone. 



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220. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Know- 
ing. 

221. Shall I inform you upon whom the de- 
vils descend? 

222. They descend upon every sinful liar. 

223. They pass on what is heard, 996 and 
most of them are liars. 

224. And the poets - [only] the deviators 
follow them; 

225. Do you not see that in every valley they 
roam 997 

226. And that they say what they do not do? 



227. Except those [poets] who believe and 
do righteous deeds and remember God 
often and defend [the Muslims] 998 after 
they were wronged. And those who 
have wronged are going to know to 
what [kind of] return they will be re- 
turned. 



995 i.e., among those who pray with you in con- 
gregation. 

996 This was before they were prevented, as de- 
scribed in 72:8-9. 

997 Speaking lies indiscriminately and praising and 
disparaging others according to whim. 

998 By replying through poetry to the attacks of 
hostile poets. 



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Surah 27: an-Naml 

Period of Revelation 

The subject matter and the style bear full resemblance with the Surahs of the middle Makkan period and this 
is supported by various hadith as well. 

Theme and Topics 

The Surah consists of two discourses, the first from the beginning of the Surah to the end of verse 58 and 
the second from verse 59 to the end of the Surah. The theme of the first discourse is that only those people 
can benefit from the guidance of the Qur'an and become worthy of the good promises made in it who ac- 
cept the realities which this Book presents as the basic realities of the universe and then follow up their belief 
with obedience and submission in their practical lives aswell. But the greatest hindrance for man to follow 
this way is the denial of the Hereafter. For it makes him irresponsible, selfish and given to worldly life which 
in turn makes it impossible for him to submit himself before God and to accept the moral restrictions on his 
lusts and desires. After this introduction three types of character have been presented. 

1. The first type is characterised by Pharoah, the chiefs of Thamud and the rebels of the people of Lot 
who were all heedless of the accountability of the Hereafter and had consequently become the 
slaves of the world. These people did not believe even after seeing the miracles. Rather they turned 
against those who invited them to goodness and piety. They persisted in their evil ways which are 
held in abhorrence by every sensible person. They did not heed the admonition even until a mo- 
ment before they were overtaken by the scourge of God. 

2. The second type of character is of the Prophet Solomon who had been blessed by God with 
wealth, kingdom and grandeur to an extent undreamt of by the chiefs of the disbelievers of Mak- 
kah. But since he regarded himself as answerable before God and had the feeling that whatever he 
had was only due to God's bounty, he had adopted the attitude of obediance before Him and there 
was no tinge of vanity in his character. 

3. The third type is of the queen of Sheba who ruled over a most wealthy and well known people in 
the history of Arabia. She possessed all those means of life which could cause a person to become 
vain and conceited. Her wealth and possessions far exceeded the wealth and possessions of the Qu- 
raysh. Then she professed Shirk (polytheism) which was